From Monday 29 July 2013, the law has changed and claimants (employees) will be required to pay an issue fee to start the claim when they submit an employment tribunal claim (ET1 Form) and a hearing fee if the claim goes to hearing.

These will need to be paid either online by debit/credit card or by cheque via post. The respondents (employers) will be required to pay fees for any applications they make.

Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service remissions scheme has been extended to protect people on lower incomes. A remission application form has to be completed and submitted with information relating to the employees income, savings and capital and, if successful, part of, or all the fees will be waived.

Eligibility for a fee remission under the remission scheme will first involve an assessment of the employee and/or their partner’s disposable capital.

We regularly receive telephone calls from VNs advising that they want to put in a tribunal claim as they feel they have been treated unfairly by their practice.

Submitting a tribunal claim is costly to employees and employers and can be a very stressful process. If the case is referred to the Court, both the employee and employer will be asked to submit their evidence. This will need to include copies of any letters, notes and any other documentation relevant to the claim.

Both parties may also have additional costs if they decide to appoint a solicitor to represent them at the court hearing.

How to avoid going to a tribunal

In the first instance, you should always follow the practice’s internal procedures. These can usually be found in either your Contract of Employment or your Company Handbook.

If you have been invited to attend a disciplinary hearing or submitted a formal grievance, then a full investigation should be carried out by the practice. After the hearing and the outcome you have the right to appeal the decision.

If you are unhappy with the outcome, you should follow the appeal procedure. You must be able to show that you have followed this process before submitting a tribunal claim. 

For further support with this or any other HR issue, BVNA members can call the BVNA IRS Helpline on 01822 870270 or e-mail


Nicky Ackerley BA(HONS)

Nicky Ackeriey HR Support is owned by Nicky Ackerley who has a BA (Hons) Business Studies Degree, is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and who has been a practising HR manager for over 20 years. HR Support Consultancy has provided the BVNA's Industrial Relations Service since it began in 2002.

• VOL 28 • September 2013 • Veterinary Nursing Journal