Removal of Employment Tribunal Fees Overview
The recent Supreme Court decision to abolish the employment tribunal fees introduced in 2013 will have a significant impact on employers.
In what has been described by some legal commentators as one of the most significant cases in UK employment law history, the Supreme Court has ruled that the introduction of fees for employment law tribunals in the summer of 2013 was unlawful and prevented people from having an equal access to justice.
- The government will now have to pay back £32m to claimants who paid the fees during the three years and to some employers.
- Employees will now be able to access the employment law tribunal system without having to worry about paying the fees
Introduction of fees in 2013 and a reduction in cases
The fees (starting at £160 and increasing to £1,200) were introduced to try to reduce the number of cases being heard at employment law tribunals with some arguing that there were a large percentage of spurious claims.
Since the fees were introduced there has been a 79% reduction in cases over the three years and a significant decrease in the number of false claims.
It should also be noted that there were also many people who wished to make legitimate claims but were unable to do so because they were unable to afford the fees.
Impact of the Supreme Court ruling
As a consequence of the Supreme Court ruling , Employment Tribunal arrangements will revert back to where they were prior to the introduction of fees. Anyone will now be able to make an employment law claim without having to pay any fees.
Employers are encouraged to ensure they have implemented and are operating robust and fair employment practices, and to seek professional advice on what the ruling could mean for them.
To discuss any queries or concerns you might have regarding this landmark decision or any other HR concerns please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org .