We recognise that issuing a claim against your employer or former employer is a daunting process and that having been dismissed funding such a claim may be difficult. However, there are a number of options available to you including legal expense insurance, no-win no-fee and price certainty.
From 29 July 2013, the Tribunal will reject a claim unless it is accompanied by the relevant Tribunal Fee or a Remission Application. You will not have to pay the Tribunal Fee if:
- Your gross annual income (including that of your partner) is less than the specified amount (usually £3,000); and
- Your gross monthly income is less than the specified amount (£1,085 if you are single with no children).
For further details including the tresholds please see below for Tribunal Fee Remissions.
Legal Expense Insurance
The first step is for you to check your household or other insurance policy to identify whether you have the benefit of legal expense insurers. Many of our clients are surprised to discover they have the benefit of such a policy so it is worth checking even if you do not believe you are covered.
The benefit of such a policy, is that the insurer will meet some of or all of your legal fees connected with issuing a claim.
Assuming you have the benefit of legal expense insurance, this will ordinarily only cover you from the stage at which you are required to issue a claim.
Alternatively, if you do not have the benefit of an insurance policy it may be possible for us to run your claim on a no-win, no-fee basis. This means you pay us nothing if you lose, and we take a percentage (usually around one third) of any settlement or award at an Employment Tribunal.
Whether we are prepared to run your case under such an arrangement depends upon both the value of your claim and your prospects of success. Please call either James Twine on 01752 292351 or Eoin Fowell on 292350 for a free telephone assessment.
If we were not in a position to offer a no-win no-fee arrangement, or if you would prefer to receive 100% of your compensation, we are happy to run your case for an agreed fee or for you to pay for our services on an hourly rate.
Many of our clients prefer to agree a price in advance so that you are aware of the limit of your costs. Under such an arrangement, we agree billing milestones and charge you a fee for a particular step. For example, for us to consider your claim and papers, issue the claim and review your former employers’ response, we aim to agree a fee of between £1,000 and £1,500 plus VAT. Often, settlement can be achieved relatively quickly after issuing a claim. If this is the case, your total costs are likely to be limited to between £1,000 and £2,000 plus VAT.
Type A claim: £160;
Type B claim: £250.
If you do not qualify for a Remission, you will be required to pay the Issue Fee when you submit your claim.
Type A claim: £230;
Type B claim: £950.
If you do not qualify for a Remission, you will be required to pay the Hearing Fee either 21 or 28 days before the hearing.
Common Type A Claims include claims for: redundancy payments, breach of contract and unlawful deductions of wages.
Common Type B Claims include claims for: unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing.
If you succeed with your claim, the Tribunal has the power to order your former employer to reimburse you for the Tribunal Fees.
If you are considering issuing a claim, please call either James Twine on 01752 292351 or Eoin Fowell on 01752 292350. Please remember, a strict three month (minus one day) time limit exists for pursuing a claim at an Employment Tribunal so it is essential that you seek legal advice as promptly as possible.
The new fee remission system applies two tests. You must pass both tests in order to be eligible for a full or partial fee remission:
- The disposable capital test.
- The gross monthly income test.
When assessing your eligibility for a remission, the calculation is based on the savings and income of both you and your partner. A partner is defined as a person with whom you live as part of a couple, including a person with whom you usually live as a couple.
Disposable capital means the value of every resource of a capital belonging to you (including those of your partner) on the date on which the application is made. The key types of disposable capital that will be considered are:
- All capital held in all types of savings accounts (including ISAs, fixed-rate bonds, market-linked investment bonds, trust funds, etc).
- Stocks or shares.
- Any type of capital financial product (such as unit trusts or derivatives).
- Redundancy capital payments received.
- Second homes.
- Any jointly held capital.
- Any type of capital held outside the UK.
- Any capital held in an employee-owned business unless the company holds the shares collectively (for example, by way of an employer trust such as the John Lewis model).
If you have disposable capital above certain thresholds, you will not be eligible for a remission. For example:
- For a fee of up to £1,000 the disposable capital threshold is £3,000.
- For a fee of between £1,001 and £1,335 the disposable capital threshold is £4,000.
In these circumstances, if you and your partner have capital (savings) of £3,000 or more, you will fail the disposable capital test and you will have to pay a fee to issue your claim.
If you believe, you pass the disposable capital test; you will be required to declare the value of your household disposable capital and include a statement of truth on the remission application form.
Gross Monthly Income
If you pass the disposable capital test, the gross monthly income test determines whether you are entitled to a full or part remission or whether you will have to pay the full fee.
Gross monthly income means the total monthly income, for the month before that in which the remission application is made, from all sources, other than receipt of excluded benefits.
If you run your own business, income will include accrued profits and drawings.
Full remission: gross monthly income thresholds
In order to receive a full fee remission your gross monthly income must be below the following thresholds:
- Those with no children: £1,085 (single); £1,245 (couple).
- Those with one child: £1,330 (single); £1,490 (couple).
- Those with two children: £1,575 (single); £1,735 (couple).
- Those with more than two children should add £245 for each further child to the thresholds for those with two children.
Partial remission: gross monthly income thresholds
For every additional £10 of income above these income thresholds you will have to make a contribution of £5 towards the fee payable. Therefore, if you have an income that exceeds the threshold by £100 per month, you would be required to pay £50 (10 x £5) towards the fee.
For a link to a fee remission calculator please click here.
If you believe you are entitled to either a full or partial remission you will need to provide one of the following:
- Documentary evidence of a qualifying benefit as issued by the DWP. This must be dated within the previous month, or the current financial year if the benefit is Pension Credit guarantee credit. It must show your title, full name, address and postcode and confirm that you have received the benefit; or
- Three months' bank statements, together with recent wage slips and/or your most recent tax return.