Tribunal Fees have been a contentious issue since their introduction in July 2013. In March 2017, the Supreme Court is set to hear the case of R (UNISON) v Lord Chancellor in March 2017. UNISON have been challenging Employment Tribunal fees on the grounds that they are discriminatory and obstruct access to justice.
However, the Government’s much-awaited report into the issue says that, whilst the fees may have discouraged prospective Claimants from bringing claims, they have not prevented them from doing so.
This is despite the fact that Claims decreased by over 60% since the introduction fees – even more so for cases involving discrimination and equal pay.
The report cites ACAS Early Conciliation as a reason for the drop in claims as parties are now able to settle disputes before bringing a claim. Meanwhile, claims relating to insolvent employers will no longer require fees.
There is currently a consultation open for proposals to reform the fees and this closes on 14 March 2017.