27 July 2015 #Employment
The Justice Committee, consisting of 11 cross party MPs is conducting an inquiry into the impact of tribunal fees introduced for claims submitted on or after 29 July 2013.
As a result of the fee regime, claimants are required to pay an issue fee when lodging their claim and a hearing fee (payable 4-6 weeks before the hearing).
The Justice Committee will conduct their inquiry with a particular focus on whether the tribunal fee regime has affected access to justice. This is an entirely separate inquiry to the review currently being carried out by the Ministry of Justice which is focussing on the impact of tribunal fees and whether tribunals costs are now being absorbed by tribunal users, rather than the taxpayer. That review is expected to be completed later this year.
The Justice Committee opened the inquiry with the following statement:
“Over the course of the last Parliament the coalition Government pursued policies aimed at decreasing the cost of Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to the public purse, through the introduction of and increases to various fees and charges. These included the introduction of fees for employment tribunals, a regime of enhanced fees for civil proceedings, and a mandatory charge imposed on anyone convicted of a criminal offence. The Justice Committee has decided to hold an inquiry into the effects of the introduction and levels of these fees and charges.”
Written submissions are to be provided to the Committee by 30 September 2015. We will update you again following publication of the inquiry outcome.