The Law Society have hailed that ‘Striking down employment tribunal fees is a victory for the tens of thousands of people denied their rights at work’, the Law Society of England and Wales said today.
Anyone in England, Scotland and Wales wanting to pursue a case against their employer has had to previously pay find as much as £1,200. This has been a huge expense for many low-paid employees, says UNISON. This has also presented a hurdle for those who have alleged unfair treatment by their employers and subsequently had to terminate their employment or had their employment terminated and no longer have an income.
The Supreme Court has ruled that fees for bringing an employment tribunal claim are ‘unfair’ and should be scrapped. It further ruled that the fees were indirectly discriminatory against women, due to the different fees payable for certain claims.
The fees were introduced in 2013, costing claimants between £390 to £1200 to have their cases heard. Because of how much they were costing the amount of people who were claiming dropped by as much as 70%. The ruling also means that the Government will have to refund fees already paid. It’s estimated that this will cost around £32 million to refund the fees already paid.by paying everyone back.
The decision marks the end of a four-year fight by UNISON to overturn the government’s introduction of fees in the Employment Tribunal.