Ripley firm warns of tribunal fees

A Ripley solicitors is warning that people who have a grievance against an employer may be denied justice because of new fees to take cases to an employment tribunal.

Ellis-Fermor & Negus says the introduction of fees next month could mean people losing out on compensation that they might receive now because the cost of fees may be prohibitive and put them off having their day in court.

From July 29 people who want to take a claim against an employer to an employment tribunal will have to pay substantial fees for the first time since they were set up almost 50 years ago and then known as industrial tribunals.

Claimants will have to pay both an ‘issue fee’ at the outset and a ‘hearing fee’ a few weeks prior to the final hearing. If these are not paid at the appropriate time, then the claim will not be allowed to go ahead.

Tim Jones, of Ellis-Fermor & Negus, said: “The imminent introduction of these fees is a significant incentive to workers to seek advice immediately and submit any claim before they come into force.”

It is thought that that means-tested exemptions from the fees will be available to some people, but the proposed criteria for qualifying will likely ensure that the vast majority will not be exempt.