Union lose Appeal against Tribunal Fees

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Employers will be pleased to hear that the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal against the High Court decision not to abolish Tribunal fees, following their introduction by the Government in July 2013.

Lord Justice Underhill is concerned about the significant drop in employment tribunal claims and held that:

“the case based on the overall decline in claims cannot succeed by itself. It needs to be accompanied by evidence of the actual affordability of the fees in the financial circumstances of (typical) individuals. Only evidence of this character will enable the Court to reach a reliable conclusion that that the fees payable under the Order will indeed be realistically unaffordable in some cases.”

Whilst Unison’s application failed in the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Underhill commented on the Government’s promise to review the fees regime and noted: “The decline in the number of claims in the Tribunals following the introduction of the Fees Order is sufficiently startling to merit a very full and careful analysis of its causes; and if there are good grounds for concluding that part of it is accounted for by Claimants being realistically unable to afford to bring proceedings the level of fees and/or the remission criteria will need to be revisited.”

Unison have stated that they will continue their battle to the Supreme Court.

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