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The Ministry of Justice has published its long-awaited review of Employment Tribunal (ET) fees, which were introduced in July 2013.
This concluded that the objectives for the introduction of fees – i.e. transferring a proportion of the cost from the taxpayer to users of the service who can afford to pay and encouraging the use of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service's free Early Conciliation service and other mediation services, whilst at the same time protecting access to justice – have broadly been met, and 'while it is clear that fees have discouraged people from bringing claims, there is no evidence that they have prevented them from doing so'.
Nevertheless, the review did identify some areas of concern with regard to the impact of ET fees. As a result, the Government has decided that, with immediate effect, certain proceedings relating to payments made from the National Insurance Fund should be exempt from fees, including claims related to a redundancy payment where the employer is insolvent. In addition, a consultation document has been published seeking views on the review's findings and on a proposal to raise the gross monthly income threshold for fee remission. Views are sought by 14 March 2017.