Employment Tribunal Fees Set To Encourage Mediation and Arbitration
16th July 2012
The £84 million tribunal service is currently funded by the tax payer. At present it is free to bring a claim or appeal at employment tribunal.
From Summer 2013 the Government will introduce a fee structure for claims and appeals at tribunal. The fee structure will provide a range of options for resolution including judicial mediation.
The fee structure is designed to offset the financial burden on the taxpayer and encourage businesses and workers to resolve their disputes earlier through mediation or advice and conciliation via ACAS.
The fees are likely to reduce the number of speculative claims brought against businesses, however the fees also raise questions over access to justice for low-paid workers in a recession.
Mediation is seen to provide a low cost alternative and a fair and equitable process. Mediation is now commonly available in-house in many larger organisations. Mediation can be externally sourced through independent mediation providers and rates can vary from fifty to two hundred pounds an hour depending on the issues.
The Government is currently piloting mediation for SME’s in both Cambridge and Manchester to provide low cost access to mediation.
For the Ministry of Justice press release see here – http://www.justice.gov.uk/news/press-releases/moj/employment-tribunal-fees-set-to-encourage-mediation-and-arbitration