Employment tribunal fees scrapped
Employment tribunal fees have been scrapped and the Government has said it will take steps to stop charging and refund payments.
In 2013, the Government introduced tribunal fees of up to £1,200, in order to cut down on the number of claimants bringing “malicious and weak” cases. It was thought that this move would help employers who struggled to cope with spurious tribunal claims against them.
However, since then 79% fewer cases have been brought and Trade Union Unison vigorously fought the move, saying that the fees prevented workers accessing justice.
The Supreme Court has now ruled that the government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced the fees. The government had already made a voluntary commitment to reimburse all fees if it was found they acted unlawfully. Fees have raised about £32m since being introduced.
Justice minister Dominic Raab said the government would cease taking fees for employment tribunals “immediately” and begin the process of reimbursing claimants, dating back to 2013.
Fees ranged between £390 and £1,200. Discrimination cases cost more for claimants because of the complexity and time hearings took.