Employment Tribunal Fees
The Supreme Court has now granted permission to Unison to appeal the Court of Appeal's decision regarding the Employment Tribunal fee paying regime which was introduced in July 2013 and which has resulted in a large reduction in Employment Tribunal cases being issued to the Tribunal.
Unison is appealing that the imposition of fees to claimants wishing to have a claim heard at an Employment Tribunal restricts access to justice to workers, whereas the government’s stance is that fees avoid claims which have no merit being issued costing the tax payer money. The government also refer to the safeguard of the fee exemption for some claimants.
The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, in that some claims which have merit may not be being issued due to the £1250 fee a claimant has to pay to proceed to a tribunal with a claim for unfair dismissal or discrimination and where the claimant does not gain a fee exemption. Whereas employers may refer to spurious claims being issued before the fee regime came in, which the employer would have had no option but to defend or to reach a settlement with the claimant to avoid incurring legal costs and to avoid management time out of the business.
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