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Breaking news - employment tribunal fees scrapped

26 July 2017

The Supreme Court has made history today by ruling that fees for bringing an employment tribunal case to court are unlawful. The court found that the fees prevented access to justice for those workers unable to fund their case. It further stated that the fees were contrary to the Equality Act as they disproportionately affected women.

The challenge to the fees system was taken up by UNISON, who argued that the reduction in the number of claims being brought – 79% over three years – clearly went further than the original intention of reducing the number of malicious and weak cases brought. Their legal challenge had failed at both the High Court and Court of Appeal.

The fees will be immediately removed and the government will have to pay back the £32m in fees paid by claimants since July 2013 when the fees were introduced.

As yet no further details have been released about how this is to be achieved, what (if anything) will happen about cases which could have been brought but weren’t, or were settled, because of the cost of tribunal fees, or what might replace the current fees regime.

Matthew leads our employment law team, acting for clients which include multi-national companies, owner-managed businesses and not-for-profit organisations. Clients describe him as “responsive, commercial, understands where employers are coming from and gets right to the point, with meaningful and practical advice.”

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Matthew Clayton MA LLM (Cantab), CIPP/E
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