Employment Tribunal and EAT fees are unlawful

9 August 2017

On 26 July 2017 the Supreme Court handed down a judgment specifying that Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal fees were unlawful.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service subsequently announced that the fees previously payable upon issuing a claim and prior to a full hearing would no longer be levied.

The Supreme Court determined that the Tribunal fees (introduced in July 2013) were inhibiting access to justice. Whilst it was not necessary to give judgment on the point given the first finding, Lady Hale also expressed a view that the fees were indirectly discriminatory.

Unison had brought the action in 2014 as a judicial review on the introduction of fees. A few months after the introduction of Tribunal fees Unison were able to demonstrate the dramatic decline in the number of claims.

The major question now will be how the rebate process will work for those who paid Tribunal fees in the intervening years (employees, workers and employers).