In a surprise decision, the UK’s highest court has overruled government policy on tribunal fees and quashed the 2013 regulations, thereby raising the prospect of a rise in claims.
The fees for bringing an employment tribunal claim have been abandoned following a ruling from the Supreme Court on 26 July 2017. The case, Unison v The Lord Chancellor SC, is the culmination of a lengthy legal battle, in which the trade union argued that the regulations introducing the charges in July 2013 were unlawful, indirectly discriminatory against women, and a barrier to justice. Tribunal claims have dropped by around 70 per cent since fees were introduced.
The court quashed the regulations, meaning that fees are no longer payable when a claim is presented or taken to a tribunal hearing. The government has said fees paid to date will be reimbursed, but has not specified how this will be achieved.