News In Focus
Supreme Court hears employment tribunal fees appeal
Seven Justices of the UK Supreme Court have begun hearing an appeal against the current level of fees imposed for bringing unfair dismissal claims to the employment tribunal.
The Unison trade union is challenging rulings by the High Court and Court of Appeal that upheld the Government's decision to charge claimants hundreds of pounds to have their case heard. Introduced in 2013, the fees led to a fall of around 70% in the number of cases brought, and Unison claims they are discriminatory in preventing many workers, particularly those on low incomes, from obtaining justice.
In January the Government proposed measures to mitigate the impact of the fees on the lowest paid, while continuing to deny that there was a proved link between the fees and the fall in number of claims. In response the Law Society of England & Wales said that "only by being wilfully blind can the Government claim 'no evidence' that fees are stopping people enforcing their rights".