There was some huge new yesterday as the Supreme Court ruled that employment tribunal fees for those bringing employment tribunal claims have been ruled unlawful. As a result of this the government will have to pay back up to £32m to claimants dating back to 2013.
In 2013 the government introduced fees of up to £1200 with a view that this would cut the amount of malicious and weak cases. Over the three year period from 2013 statistics from the government show that they have received 79% fewer cases. The argument from trade unions is that the hike in fees has prevented workers from accessing justice due to affordability.
Where do we see this going?
We will be interested to see what this does to the volume of tribunal claims. Obviously there has been a significant reduction since 2013. If the numbers rise back to the original levels we can see a huge amount of pressure being put on the Tribunal system. This could result in claims being drawn out more than they would otherwise. This will have an impact for employers and employees.
We may see some claims being made against the government for historical claims since 2013. For example people that didn’t claim because of affordability may have a try. We are not sure claims against the government in relation to historical claims will be successful as they will be too speculative, although it would not be a surprise if someone were to try, perhaps under a Class Action or a Union sponsored case.
What should you do?
Firstly if you have paid employment tribunal fees since 2013 then you need to get in contact with the relevant authorities to review your situation.
The next step is just to monitor the news and see how this plays out. Obviously this came as a shock yesterday so we need to see how the dust settles.
If you would like to discuss employment issues, then please contact Paul Cowdery Email: firstname.lastname@example.org on Tel: 01256 320 555.