Are employment tribunal fees here to stay?

On 29 July 2013 fees were introduced in respect of any claim subsequently lodged with an Employment Tribunal (ET) or the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). An employee does have the opportunity to apply for remission of the fees if they fulfil certain criteria.

A challenge was however promptly made by Unison that the introduction of both ET and EAT fees, was unlawful.

Unison’s judicial review challenge was rejected earlier this month by the High Court who felt that the review was bought prematurely and as a consequence, there was not enough evidence available to overturn the fees regime.

The High Court stated that they did not see a problem with Unison applying for a further review in the future. This review may be in relation to the implementation of fees generally or it may be specifically concerning the type of fees and the level of fee payable in respect of a claim.

Unison has since indicated that they are appealing to the Court of Appeal.  

For the time being it appears that the ET and the EAT fees are here to stay but should Unison’s challenge to the Court of Appeal be successful, the regime may be withdrawn.
Notably the Senior President of the Tribunals’ Annual Report published in February 2014 confirmed that since the introduction of fees the number of EAT claims has fallen by one third.

Kayleigh Leonie