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Employment Law Services Ltd

Costs

In the Employment Tribunal System the general presumption is that each party will have to pay its own legal costs. Even since the Tribunal rules were changed in 2004 there have only been a very modest number of costs orders made when compared to the total number of claims presented to the tribunals.

The Employment Tribunal may make an order that one party pays the costs of the other party if the party being ordered to pay has acted vexatiously, abusively, disruptively or otherwise unreasonably in bringing or conducting the proceedings, or that his/her representative has so acted in conducting them, or if the bringing or conducting of the proceedings by that party has in the tribunal’s opinion been misconceived. The Employment Tribunal is required to say exactly which type of behaviour or conduct has resulted in it making a costs order against one or other party.
Since July 2013 there has been a requirement on people bringing claims to the Employment Tribunal to pay fees to the Tribunal itself (quite separate from the issue of the charges to be paid to their solicitor or representative). For cases of unlawful discrimination and of unfair dismissal the initial fee to be paid to the Tribunal will be £250. There is a lower fee for some other types of cases, such as claims for unlawful deductions from wages. There is an additional fee of £950 to be paid when the Tribunal lists the case for a contested final hearing. Although originally under the rules there is no automatic assumption that a successful claimant will recover those fees, rules are to be introduced making it clear that there will be an assumption that a successful claimant will recover the fees from the losing party. Individuals should note that these fees are distinct from the legal fees that their representative may charge for their work in dealing with their case.     

 

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