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Employment Tribunal Fees
In a unanimous decision in the case of R (Unison) v The Lord Chancellor on 26 July 2017, the Supreme Court found that tribunal fees are unlawful.
In a landmark decision, the judgment found that employment tribunal fees, which have been payable since 2013, are unlawful and have been unlawful since the time they were introduced. HM Courts and Tribunal Service have issued a statement that they will stop charging fees for proceedings in the employment tribunal and the employment appeal tribunal. This decision is significant as fees are often a deterrent to many claimants bringing claims in the employment tribunal and indeed when introduced resulted in a massive drop in claims.
The effect of this judgment is even more wide-ranging as the decision will also have retrospective effect and the tribunal service will have to refund those who have already paid fees to bring their claims. It remains to be seen how the refunds will be provided, undoubtedly this will be administratively burdensome and will take some time to complete.
It now remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court's decision will lead to a significant rise in the number of claims brought before the employment tribunal; it is likely that it will.
Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.