The Government has published plans to introduce fees for employment tribunals.
Under the plans, due to be implemented in the summer of 2013, claimants will pay an initial fee to issue a claim and a further fee if the claim proceeds to a hearing.
There will be two levels of fees. The first level will cost £160 to issue a claim and £230 to take it to court. The second will cost £250 to issue a claim and £950 to take it to court. The first covers simpler claims such as unlawful deduction from wages, while the second covers more complex cases such as discrimination and equal pay. There will also be a set fee for cases where there are multiple claimants.
The Government wants people using employment tribunals to contribute to the cost of running the system where they can afford to do so and to encourage people to look at alternatives like mediation.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said the move would deter many people, especially those on low wages, from taking valid claims to court.
He said: “Many of the UK’s most vulnerable workers will simply be priced out of justice.
“The government’s remission scheme to protect low-paid employees is woefully inadequate, and workers will be more likely to be mistreated at work as rogue bosses will be able to flout the law without fear of sanction.”