Employment tribunal fees ruled unlawful

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Fees for bringing employment tribunal claims have been ruled unlawful, and the government will now have to make good their promise to repay up to £32m to claimants.

The government introduced fees of (up to) £1,200 in 2013 to weed out weak claims and reduce the number of claims to an over burdened system, which led to almost an 80% reduction in any and all claims, as claimants found they could not afford them – particularly if they had just been dismissed.

Trade union Unison argued the fees prevented workers accessing justice and challenged the government. The Supreme Court ruled in their favour on 26th July 2017 and The Ministry of Justice said the government would take immediate steps to stop charging and refund payments.

The Supreme Court ruled the government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced the fees.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The government has been acting unlawfully, and has been proved wrong – not just on simple economics, but on constitutional law and basic fairness too.”

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