Employment Tribunal Fees are here to stay … for the time being:
The High Court this morning handed down judgment in the challenge to the legality of the Employment Tribunal fees regime. Brought by the Trade Union, Unison, the arguments centred on the restriction of access to justice and the disproportionate effect of Employment Tribunal fees on female claimants.
The Court concluded that the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees had been lawful, although left the door open for further challenges if firm evidence of a disproportionate impact on women (or another protected characteristic) could be demonstrated in future.
Unison has already announced its intention to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
Employers should be aware that claimants on low incomes can apply for full or partial exemption from paying Employment Tribunal fees. Trade unions include fee coverage as a membership benefit and some insurance companies will also pay the fees for claimants who have reasonable prospects of winning their claim.