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“Employment Tribunal Fees are Unlawful” – Supreme Court

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court has held that the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal Fees Order 2013 is unlawful under both domestic and EU law. The Court ruled that it was unlawful as it prevented access to justice, imposed unjustified limitations on an individual’s ability to enforce EU right and was indirectly discriminatory.

The immediate effect being that tribunal and appeal tribunal fees cease to be payable under the existing scheme. The Supreme Court has also made it clear that any fees already paid under the Order will have to be refunded by the government.

It is unlikely that fess in the Employment Tribunal will be abolished in their entirety and likely the government will seek to bring in a new fee regime in the near future with fees at a lower level. Therefore from today (26th July 2017) until such a new scheme is in place any employee wishing to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal or in the Employment Appeals Tribunal will not have to pay any fees.

The decision of the Supreme Court could lead to an increase in the number of claims issued in the Employment Tribunal as once of the consequences of this ruling.

If you have any questions or require any guidance following this ruling and the potential impact please call Andrew Lester on 01785 223440 or email Andrew.Lester@orj.co.uk who will be more than happy to assist you.