Employment Tribunal Fees Ruled as Unlawful by Supreme Court

blog-publish-date

01 Aug 2017

blog-read-duration

A landmark decision by the Supreme Court this morning has ruled that employment tribunal fees are unlawful.

Employment tribunal fees have raised around £32 million since their introduction in July 2013, with the thousands of individuals who have paid to take employers to tribunal set to receive refunds. The Ministry of Justice said the government would take immediate steps to stop charging fees and refund payments.

Amanda Beattie, Croner Litigation Expert, says: “The downturn in Employment Tribunal claims post the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees has been widely publicised and it was therefore inevitable that a Trade Union would launch a challenge against it. “The House of Commons Justice committee has also recently recommended the substantial reduction in Employment Tribunals. Therefore, it is not entirely unexpected that the Supreme Court has decided in this way. However, with no Employment Tribunal fees whatsoever, employers are likely to face an increase in Tribunal cases against them across the spectrum of possible claims.

"Although, given the Justice Committee’s recommendations, I consider it likely that the Government will attempt to introduce a revised fees regime with significantly lower fees at some point in the future."

The monumental decision is a result of a legal challenge from public service union UNISON. Unison General Secretary, Dave Prentis, described the ruling as a “major victory” for employees.

“The government is not above the law,” he said. “But when ministers introduced fees they were disregarding laws many centuries old, and showing little concern for employees seeking justice following illegal treatment at work. "The government has been acting unlawfully, and has been proved wrong - not just on simple economics, but on constitutional law and basic fairness too."

He added: "These unfair fees have let law-breaking bosses off the hook these past four years, and left badly treated staff with no choice but to put up or shut up. "We'll never know how many people missed out because they couldn't afford the expense of fees." For employers concerned by this news, or for any queries, don’t hesitate to contact us. Photo attribution: HTSABO

Free to Download Employer Resources

  • Model Apprenticeship Agreement

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Model Apprenticeship Agreement

    Read more
  • Sample COSHH Assessment Record

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Sample COSHH Assessment Record

    Read more
  • Return to Work Interview Form

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Return to Work Interview Form

    Read more
  • BLOG

    Avoiding Slips, Trips and Falls in th...

    Whether your staff is in an office or on a construction site, every workplace ha...

    Read more
  • BLOG

    Daylight Saving Time: The Implication...

    Daylight Saving Time is coming to an end on Sunday 27 October, with the clocks g...

    Read more
  • BLOG

    Jury Service: Employer Obligations

    One of your employees has jury service—now what? Your business will no doubt hav...

    Read more
  • REC

    CASE STUDY

    REC

    The events are brilliant. Amanda Chadwick, one of the expert speakers, is a very

    Read more
  • Grantley Hall

    CASE STUDY

    Grantley Hall

    Whenever we have a sensitive issue - sometimes involving individuals with protec

    Read more
  • Lady Heyes Holiday Park

    CASE STUDY

    Lady Heyes Holiday Park

    Overall it's definitely had a noticeable impact on the business and how I perfor

    Read more

Do you have any questions?

Get a free callback from one of our regional experts today