14/12/11

Commenting on the publication of the consultation on fees for employment tribunals by the Ministry of Justice, Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“Introducing fees for accessing the employment tribunal service will boost the confidence of employers and encourage them to take on staff. Under the current system, firms often settle to avoid the cost and uncertainty involved in defending themselves against unjustified claims.

“The average cost for an employer to defend themselves at tribunal is £8,500. However three-fifths of tribunal claims are settled due to high costs, with the average settlement at £5,400. According to BCC research, one in five businesses has been threatened with a tribunal in the last three years.

“Higher fees for those individuals claiming large sums of money are welcome, as they will put off vexatious claimants asking for millions in compensation as a scare tactic. Equally, the fees will not deter those with a genuine grievance.

“For the new fee structure to increase employers’ confidence to hire, it must apply to the maximum number of people, whilst still ensuring those with genuine claims can access justice. Wealthy individuals, or those who have just received large settlements, should not be exempted from paying fees because they had no income at the time of making the claim.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

MOJ press release: http://www.justice.gov.uk/news/press-releases/moj/newsrelease141211a.htm

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people.

Media contacts:

Liz Larvin
Tel: 020 7654 5813 / 07825746812
Email: l.larvin@britishchambers.org.uk

Lisa Morrison
Tel: 020 7654 5812 / 07717682221
Email: l.morrison@britishchambers.org.uk