Latest Update: The Axing of Tribunal Fees

By Andrew Willis
04 Aug 2017

Since the Supreme Court ruled tribunal fees were ‘unlawful’ it is widely expected that the number of cases going to employment tribunal will increase rapidly.

On July 26th, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that tribunal fees are a ‘barrier to justice’ - abolishing them with immediate effect. 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.

Since the ruling Croner’s employment law experts have been monitoring the number of cases coming through to see if the expected rise in cases has materialised. Andrew Willis, Head of Legal & Advisory, at Croner, says: “We haven’t yet seen a rise in cases as a consequence of the fees decision. But, anecdotally, we’re hearing that more cases are being submitted and these may take a while to work through the system as the new employment tribunal offices have to adjust to the new case levels first.

“However, as a business we are seeing more cases anyway, when compared to last year. In a large part this will be down to the fact that we have many more clients, making the pool of potential respondents larger. In effect we have seen the average number of cases we deal with per month double from 8 to about 16.”

Employment Tribunals: Protect Your Business

As a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling, if an employee feels that their employer has treated them unfairly, there is nothing to stop them making a claim against their employer, which could have a devastating impact on the business effected.

Our advice to businesses is that you need to act now to protect yourself and your organisation, especially when considering that all tribunal judgements are now published publically. Amanda Beattie, Croner Litigation Expert, adds: “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.”

We’re here to help

Croner’s experts are here to support businesses with implementing policies and procedures to protect against tribunals, as well as offer expert advice if you have an ongoing grievance or situation where a case is proceeding to tribunal.

To enquire about Croner’s HR or employment tribunal support please call 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis is the senior manager of the Litigation and Employment Department and assumes additional responsibility for managing Croner’s office based telephone HR advisory teams, who specialise in employment law, HR and commercial legal advice for small & large organisations across the United Kingdom.





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