Supreme Court deems tribunal fees ‘illegal’

Employment Tribunal fees were introduced in 2013 under Chris Grayling, which meant that workers in the UK have been charged a fee for bringing a claim to the employment tribunal, a second fee charged if the claim is heard and a final fee payable if the decision is appealed.

Several Unions have been in a long drawn out process, claiming that tribunal fees made it impossible for some people to exercise their employment rights. Unison, the UK’s largest trade union argued that the fees made it “virtually impossible or excessively difficult” for some employees to bring cases to a tribunal.

The Supreme Court said that employment tribunal fees were not reasonable and that they could not be “reasonably afforded” by households on low-middle incomes. Even if the tribunal fees have been affordable for some people, the Supreme Court claimed that they had prevented access to justice as it made the process financially risky unless they were 100% certain of success.

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