As you will no doubt be aware on the 26th of June a landmark ruling with regards UK Employment Law was handed down by the Supreme Court who unanimously held that the Government’s introduction of Tribunal Fees were unlawful.
In 2013 the coalition Government introduced the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunals Fees Order 2013. This meant that in order to have a claim proceed to a final hearing, a claimant had to pay fees ranging between £390 and £1,200 (depending on the type of claim).
The purpose of introducing fees was to curb the level of vexatious and weak claims being brought to the Employment Tribunal.
Logically the introduction of fees should have resulted in more claims brought to the Employment Tribunal being successful, on the basis that only claims with strong prospects of success would be raised, but in reality there has been a slight decrease in successful claims since fees were brought in.
Further to this Government statistics showed that 79% fewer cases were brought over a three year period following introduction which clearly demonstrates that fees were preventing workers accessing justice.
Wednesday’s decision by The Supreme Court found that the introduction of fees by the Government was unconstitutional and unlawful. Furthermore it was held that fees are indirectly discriminatory because a higher proportion of women would bring discrimination cases, which attract the highest level of fee.
The Government now face a bill of £32 million having previously promised to refund fees should they be found to be unlawful. Thereafter, they must decide either to completely abolish fees or aim to introduce significantly reduced fees in order that middle and lower income households can still afford access to justice.
If you have a query about Employment Tribunal fees, or are currently looking to raise a claim and are unsure how to proceed, contact us today to arrange an initial free consultation. Please contact us online by clicking here or speak to a member of our specialist team on 0333 222 1855.