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Employment Tribunal Fees - under the microscope again...

Employment Tribunal Fees - under the microscope again...

Today, the House of Commons Justice Select Committee published its report on courts and tribunal fees, opening up once again the issue of the employment tribunals fee regime which came into force in July 2013.

Overall, the report is very critical on the effects fees have had on access to justice, particularly with regards to employment tribunals and meritorious claims. Once again, the report highlights the significant drop in the number of employment tribunal claims, but it also makes some interesting points:

  • It recommends special consideration, and a review of the three month time limit, in pregnancy discrimination cases.
  • It does not accept the government’s assertion that the drop is largely attributable to the success of ACAS Early Conciliation.
  • It states that the level of fees should be substantially reduced, although did accept that it was legitimate to have some form of fee structure.
  • It recommends that the fee remission system should be overhauled.

So, will this report change anything? The fact that this report has been published in the week of the EU referendum means that it is likely to get little press coverage. In addition, the government is still to publish its own report on the effects of tribunal fees. However, we still await the Supreme Court hearing UNISON’s application for judicial review of employment tribunal fees (due in December this year), so we have not heard the end of this issue yet.