STOP PRESS - TRIBUNAL FEES RULED UNLAWFUL!
- AuthorTamsin James
It feels like it is time for some good news!
In 2013, the Government introduced Tribunal fees for individuals bringing claims (but not for employers defending them).
At over £1,000 for most claims, it was unaffordable for many individuals (also facing a loss of employment income) and the number of claims dropped dramatically. In particular, claims for unpaid wages - once the most common type of claim - ceased overnight.
After 4 years of persistent argument, failures at lower level courts, frustration at seeing clients with good cases unable to take them forward, the Supreme Court has ruled the fees to be unlawful in their entirety. In no short order, they found fees to be unaffordable, to prevent access to justice and to discriminate against women. Exactly what employment lawyers - on all sides - have been saying for years!
Note that Employment Tribunal are apparently no longer accepting payment for claims - the on-line application system is currently down, to allow for changes. If you are feeling old-fashioned (or you are running out of time) you can still hand a form in at an employment tribunal office (although - beware, Bristol Employment Tribunal office has been evacuated due to flooding).
The rumour mill is also saying that the Government will have to repay any fees paid since 2013!
We'll keep you posted.