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Plans to charge staff for tribunals

Plans to charge staff for tribunals

Plans are moving forward to charge people who bring a claim to an employment tribunal.

The Justice Minister, Jonathan Djanogly, said if the Government introduced the fees it would discourage "unmerited and unnecessary" claims and ease the burden on taxpayers, who had to fork out for an £84 million bill last year for the running of tribunals.

Business groups are for the plans, but unions said they will mean the poorest workers will be denied justice.

Mr Djanogly said: "Currently, the UK taxpayer bears the entire £84 million cost per year of resolving other people's employment disputes at tribunals. This is not sustainable.

"We believe that people should pay a fair amount towards the cost of their case. Fee waivers will be available for people on low incomes to protect access to justice".

"Our proposed fees will encourage businesses and workers to settle problems earlier, through non-tribunal routes like conciliation or mediation, and we want to give businesses – particularly small businesses – the confidence to create new jobs without fear of being dragged into unnecessary actions."

The Government announced a consultation on two options; an initial fee of between £150 and £250, with an additional charge of between £250 and £1,250 if a claim goes to a hearing, with no limit to the maximum award; or a fee of £200-£600 which could rise to £1,750 for people seeking awards over £30,000.

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