When fees were introduced in the Employment Tribunals, in July 2013, the government made a commitment to review their impact. Today (11 June 2015) we are announcing the start of that review. It will consider how effective the introduction of fees has been at meeting the original objectives, while maintaining access to justice.
The original objectives were:
- to transfer some of the cost from the taxpayer to those who use the service, where they can afford to do so
- to encourage the use of alternative dispute resolution services, for example, ACAS conciliation
- to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the tribunal
The review will also consider the effectiveness of the new fee remissions scheme, which was introduced in October 2013.
The review will take into account a wide range of evidence including:
- tribunal data on case volumes, case progression and case outcomes]
- qualitative research on the views of court and tribunal users
- the general trend of the number of cases appearing at tribunals before the fees were introduced
- any consequences arising as a result of an improved economy on the number of people being dismissed
- to what extent there has been discouragement of weak or unmeritorious claims
- whether there has been any impact because of changes in employment law; and other reasons for changes in user behaviour
The terms of reference for the review have been published here.
The review is expected to be completed later in the year and we will consult on any proposals for reforms to the fees and remissions scheme.