June 24, 2013

Employment Tribunal Fees

In a bid to fight the employment tribunal fees being introduced in July, UNISON, Britain’s largest trade union, is applying to the High Court for a judicial review of the government’s new fee structure.

The fees, brought in by the government, are intended to reduce the number of claims that reach employment tribunal by charging employees to take a case forward. UNISON is challenging this controversial decision by the Ministry of Justice, stating that this legislation will deter many poorly-treated workers with genuine grievances from fighting for justice.

Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON, claims it is fundamentally wrong for the government to put a price on justice and that access to the law should not be ‘based on what you can or cannot afford.’

The union’s two main arguments are:

  • The fees make it difficult to enforce European Community Law
  • With the fees comes an indirect discrimination against women, who typically earn less than men

It was intended that the introduction of these fees for workers would lessen the number of claims taken to an employment tribunal, help to alleviate the burden placed on employers, reduce the use of valuable tribunal resources, and encourage people to consider other approaches such as mediation. It is not yet clear how (if at all) UNISON’s appeal will affect the introduction of the new fees.

To discuss the upcoming changes or for more information on your risks against tribunal claims, get in touch with the Moorepay Compliance team on 0845 073 0260.

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