Employment Tribunal Fees Scrapped
The Supreme Court ruled the government was acting unlawfully last week for introducing fees for bringing a claim to the Employment Tribunal.
The government introduced the fees of up to £1,200 in 2013 in order to decrease the amount of malicious and weak claims being brought to the tribunal. It has been recorded that 79% fewer cases have been taken to tribunal over a three-year period since the fees were introduced, according to government statistics.
Trade Union, Unison, stated that the fees were preventing workers from accessing justice and were unfair, leaving some workers no choice but to put up with bad treatment at work. It has also been found that the fees were indirectly discriminatory due to a higher proportion of women being discriminated against at work, and these claims to the Employment Tribunal incurring the highest fees due to its complexity.
Following the Supreme Court ruling last Wednesday, the government will reimburse all fees to claimants since the fees were introduced in 2013, amounting to around £32 million. In addition to this, the government have ceased Employment Tribunal fees with immediate effect following the court ruling.
The fees introduced in 2013 ranged from £390 to £1,200 depending on the complexity and time the hearings would take. Since the fees were introduced the average amount of cases decreased from around 5,000 to 1,500 per month.
It has been suggested that this ruling may mean that claims can be brought to the Employment Tribunal from up to four years ago when the fees were introduced, but this did not form part of the Supreme Court judgement.
We expect to see the number of claims taken to the Employment Tribunal increase rapidly changing the way employers deal with employees. This is because there will be no financial implications to the employee for bringing a claim to the Employment Tribunal from now on.