Employment tribunal fees unlawful, Supreme Court rules – BBC News

Fees for those bringing employment tribunal claims have been ruled unlawful, as well as the government will now have to repay as much as 32m to claimants.

The government introduced fees of up to one, 200 in 2013, which this said would cut the number of harmful and weak cases.

Government statistics showed 79% fewer cases were brought more than three years – trade union Unison said the fees prevented employees accessing justice.

The federal government said it would take steps to stop getting and refund payments.

The Great Court dominated the government was acting unlawfully plus unconstitutionally when it introduced the charges.

Unison general admin Dave Prentis said: “The federal government has been acting unlawfully, and has already been proved wrong – not just upon simple economics, but on constitutional law and basic fairness as well. ”

He additional: “These unfair fees have allow law-breaking bosses off the hook these types of past four years, and still left badly treated staff with no option but to put up or close up.

“We’ll find out how many people missed out simply because they couldn’t afford the expense of costs. ”

‘Proper access to justice

The federal government had already made a non-reflex commitment to reimburse all charges if it was found they served unlawfully. Fees have raised regarding 32m since being introduced.

Justice minister Dominic Raab said the government would cease getting fees for employment tribunals “immediately” and begin the process of reimbursing claimants, dating back to to 2013.

He said: “We respect the particular judgement and we are going to take it completely on board and we are going to comply with this. ”

It would drop to the taxpayer to pick up the expenses, he said.

“The tricky, the difficult, the liquid balancing act that we’ve got can be we want to make sure there’s proper entry to justice, we want to make sure frivolous or even spurious claims don’t clog in the tribunal and at the same time we’ve got to ensure we’ve got the right way to fund it., inch he said.

Charges ranged between 390 and one, 200. Discrimination cases cost more just for claimants because of the complexity and period hearings took.

The particular Supreme Court found this was not directly discriminatory because a higher proportion of girls would bring discrimination cases.

Additionally, it said that some people would not bring instances to employment tribunals because having to pay the fees would render any kind of financial reward pointless.

The court’s summary added persons in low or middle earnings household could not afford the fees “without sacrificing ordinary and reasonable expenses for substantial periods of time”.

TUC common secretary Frances O’Grady said it had been a “massive win” for employees.

“Too many low-paid workers couldn’t afford to support their rights at work, even when they are yet to faced harassment or have been sacked unfairly, ” she said.

The decision was welcomed simply by employment lawyer Karen Jackson, exactly who said: “I don’t know an employment attorney who didn’t think it was incorrect to have fees.

“We all felt that morally it was the wrong thing to do as a hurdle to justice. ”