Unison won a landmark court case against the government in July 2017 when the Supreme Court found that the government acted unlawfully when it introduced employment tribunal fees in July 2013.
The decision of the court means that, from July 2017:
- those eligible to bring an employment tribunal claim (or appeal) will no longer have to pay a fee to do so; and
- the government will have to refund over £27 million to those charged a fee for submitting a claim to the tribunal since the fees were introduced.
The position of people who have issued claims since July 2013, but who had those claims struck out for non-payment of fees, remains uncertain. The President of Employment Tribunals in England and Wales has ordered that no action be taken in respect of these claims until the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service have decided how such claims should be handled in view of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
The introduction of fees led to a marked decrease in tribunal claims as many would-be claimants could not afford to take action; with the Supreme Court having now ruled that fees are not payable it is reasonable to expect to see an increase in the number of claims being made, at least in the short term, as well as the re-emergence of some claims employers may have thought had been abandoned.
For further advice on any of the issues raised in this article, or for employment law advice more generally, please call us on 0203 740 2360 or email [email protected].