Employment Tribunal Fees

The results have been published by the Ministry of Justice in regard to its consultation of employment tribunal fees.

The intention is to implement the changes in summer 2013. The purpose of introducing fees is to lower the cost of the employment tribunal system to the taxpayer.

The key points are:-


  • Level 1 claims (straightforward ones such as unlawful deductions from wages/salary) – £160 issue fee; £230 hearing fee
  • Level 2 claims (encompasses pretty much everything else) – £250 issue fee; £950 hearing fee
  • Employment Appeal Tribunal – £400 appeal fee, £1,200 hearing fee

There are various other fees also.

The Government will be reviewing the fee structure in regard to the actual cost of running the employment tribunal system once it is implemented. These costs are separate from the above fees.

Compromise Agreements

There are plans to move from ‘compromise’ to ‘settlement’ agreements with the intention of helping employers.

Compromise agreements are when an employer and an employee enter into negotiations with a view to reaching a mutually agreeable compromise and settlement, giving rise to benefits for both parties. The employee is offered a payment, which would usually include an element of compensation leaving the employer in the safe knowledge the employee agrees not to pursue any claims (excluding those relating to breaches of the agreement, personal injury and accrued pension rights).

However, at this stage, the proposed legislation seems to have been a re-branding exercise although formal consultation is scheduled to take place over the summer. We will have to wait and see if this brings about any significant changes and I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, compromise agreements are still safe to use and can continue to be offered where there’s a workplace dispute.

Pensions Auto-Enrolment

From October 2012, new legislation will require employers to automatically enrol their staff into a workplace pension. Millions of people are not saving enough to have the income they are likely to want in retirement. Life expectancy in the UK is increasing and, at the same time, people are saving less into pensions.

Too many people still think that they can reply on their state pension to provide for them in retirement, but with the rate standing at only £107 per week (from April 2012), it is simply not enough to prevent millions of future pensioners ending up poverty stricken.

This is being phased in and employers are being given “staging” dates when they have to begin auto-enrolling eligible employees, who are not already members, into a qualifying workplace pension. The date is based on their size (fixed by the number of HMRC employee records on file at a 1 April 2012) or the letters in their PAYE scheme reference.

The staging and phasing begins, on 1 October 2012, with employees in excess of 120,000 – this only applying to 4 employers being the large supermarkets.

It will not hit employers with 349 or less employees until after 1 January 2013. Watch this space for a timetable of staging dates.

The Pensions Regulator are encouraging employers to use the new tool on their website, albeit, this tool appears somewhat flawed. However, it may be worth a visit to help you identify important information relevant to you and your obligations http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk.

ECJ Ruling – Employees sick while on annual leave can retake time off

The ECJ (European Court of Justice) has ruled that employees who fall sick during their annual leave have the right to re-take that annual leave at a later date, irrespective of when they fell ill.

The ECJ stated that “the purpose of entitlement to paid annual leave is to enable the worker to rest and enjoy a period of relaxation and leisure. The purpose of entitlement to sick leave is different, since it enables a worker to recover from an illness that has caused them to be unfit for work.”

The date of when this is to be brought in is yet to be confirmed.

The UK Government is planning to amend the Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833) to take account of the ECJ case law on sickness during annual leave.

Tribunal Awards

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has confirmed that an employee’s dishonesty during a disciplinary hearing may justify a reduction in their compensation. So, if an employee misleads you, or lies in any way, keep a record as this could be persuasive evidence.

On 1 February 2012 the limits applying to some employment tribunal awards were increased…

  • Unfair dismissal (basic award) £12,900 (£430 per wk)
  • Unfair dismissal (compensatory award) £72,300
  • Discrimination claim £unlimited
  • Contract claim in an employment tribunal £25,000
  • Failure to inform and consult over a collective redundancy 90 days’ actual pay
  • Failure to inform and consult over a TUPE transfer 13 weeks’ actual pay
  • Failure to give written statement of employment details 4 wks pay (up to £1,720)
  • Breach of flexible working regulations 8 wks pay (up to £3,440)

Fixed Price HR Packages


Whether you are just starting out or you run a small established business, we have all that you need in one smart package.

Unlike an off-the-shelf package, we will take the time to develop an understanding of your requirements, your key aims and goals.  During the consultation, we will be able to tailor a service that is appropriate for your business, giving you the guidance you need to help you run a legally compliant operation.

  • HR Starter Package

This package from Kiss HR (UK) Ltd will provide you with all the basic HR documentation that your business needs – meaning that you can be confident of meeting your legal requirements as an employer.

  • Basic template contract of employment
  • New employee documents, such as – offer of appointment letter, new starter forms, annual leave & sickness forms, reference request template
  • Basic suite of start-up policies (including grievance, disciplinary, sickness absence, holiday policy, equal opportunities)
  • 30-minutes of telephone or e-mail advice/support – valid for 1 month

This package includes all you need to establish a HR system for your business – and all for just £525, plus regular email updates on new legislation.

  • Essential HR Package
  • Personalised standard contract of employment (individualising for up to 10 employees)
  • New employee documents, offer of appointment letter, new starter forms, annual leave & sickness forms, reference request template & induction checklist
  • Basic bespoke employee handbook
  • Annual performance review (appraisal) template and guidance notes
  • Exit interview documents and acknowledgement of resignation
  • 90-minutes of telephone and/or e-mail advice/support – valid for 2 months

All for £650, plus email updates

  • Premium HR Package
  • Personalised premium contract of employment (individualising for up to 10 employees)
  • Bespoke premium employee handbook
  • New employee documents (as the ‘Essential HR Package’) or alternative employee documents in line with your business needs
  • Annual performance review (appraisal) template and guidance notes
  • Exit interview documents and acknowledgement of resignation
  • 3 hours of telephone and/or e-mail advice/support – valid for 3 months
  • 1 revision of employee handbook in line with employment law updates & changes

And all that for just £825, plus email updates

Each additional individualised contract from £10.00 per contract 

  • Bespoke Packages

If the above doesn’t cover what you’re looking for, we can discuss creating a more bespoke package just for you.  You can also opt to just pay as you go or if you prefer, a monthly retained subscription package.  We’ll work together to produce what you need.

  • Recruitment Package

Our fixed fee recruitment service will manage your hiring process from start to finish and ensure that you only have to deal with the most serious applicants.

This service covers: –

  • Job description: we will prepare the vacancy listing to match your requirements
  • Vacancy posting: targeted advertising across all major recruitment sites and job boards
  • CV filtering: we review every applicant to ensure that you will only see the most suitable candidates
  • Interview scheduling: you provide the times and dates, and we contact, brief and schedule the candidates (we are also happy to interview the candidates if required)
  • Offers and regrets: we will make the offer to successful candidates (and negotiate on your behalf if required), and inform unsuccessful candidates if they are not right for the role
  • Fixed fee service: one great low-cost rate regardless of the role that you’re recruiting for

We won’t take percentages of salary like a traditional recruitment agency, and there are no hidden costs or placement fees.  We will solve your recruitment problems for just £499 per campaign.