Employment tribunal fees unlawful

Employment tribunal fees unlawful

26 July 2017

Fees for those bringing employment tribunal claims have been ruled unlawful, and the government will now have to repay up to £32m to claimants if the payment of the fee is deemed to have been unlawful. 

The government introduced fees of up to £1,200 in 2013 to reduce the number of malicious and weak cases, but that led to a 79% reduction over three years.  It has also had an adverse impact on access to justice with people not being able to pursue their claims for financial rather than merit based reasons. 

The Ministry of Justice said the government would take immediate steps to stop charging and refund payments.

The Supreme Court found fees ruled the government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced the fees.

Fees have raised about £32m since being introduced.

Fees ranged between £390 and £1,200. Discrimination cases are more for claimants because of the complexity of the issues raised and the subsequent length of hearings listed.    

The Supreme Court has found that  this was indirectly discriminatory because a higher proportion of women would bring discrimination cases.