The Ministry of Justice has published a consultation on reforming the remission system which allows people not to pay full court and tribunal fees in certain circumstances. The remission system will become more relevant to employers and employees as the Government plans to introduce fees for employment tribunals this summer. The proposed remission system would have two tests, the first of which would assess ‘disposable capital’ and the second, gross monthly income. Both of these tests would have to be met to qualify for a remission. The consultation on the revised remission scheme closes on 16 May 2013.
The Government states that its reforms, which will create a single remissions system across the UK Supreme Court, civil courts and nearly all tribunals, will make the system ‘better targeted so that those that can afford to pay a fee do so’. Eligibility for a fee remission under the proposed system will first involve an assessment of an applicant’s and/or their partner’s disposable capital. This will include savings, investments and redundancy payments, but exclude unfair dismissal compensation. The Government proposes that for fees up to £1,000 remissions will be available if disposable capital does not exceed £3,000. For fees between £1,001 and £4,000, remissions will be available if disposable capital does not exceed £8,000. In rare cases where a fee exceeds £4,000, the capital limit will be £16,000.
If the disposable capital test is met, a second test, based on the gross monthly income of either a single person or a couple, will consider whether an applicant receives a full fee waiver, pays a contribution towards their fee, or pays the full fee. Full remission For a full fee waiver an applicant’s gross monthly income must be below:
|If single||If in a couple|
|Wtih no children||£1,085||£1,245|
|With 1 child||£1,330||£1,490|
|With 2 children||£1,575||£1,735|
Kate Fretten, Employment Partner says "If a person has more than two children, the gross monthly income entitling them to a full remission increases by £245 per child. A child is taken into account if he or she lives with the applicant, or the applicant pays maintenance for him or her."
Get in touch if you need more information on this topic. You should find the other articles in May's employment newsletter of interest.