Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Legal Updates

Are Tribunal Fees Coming Back?

18 June 2020 #Employment

According to the Times this week, the government has asked the Law Commission to help design a lawful system for charging employment tribunal fees.

The previous fees scheme introduced in 2013 was found to be unlawful by the Supreme Court in 2017 on the basis that the fees:

  • had no direct relation to the amount sought and therefore deterred claimants pursuing low value claims or claims for non-financial remedy (which is the majority of ET claims)
  • prevented access to justice because a significant percentage of Claimants were deterred from starting or pursuing claims as they were unable to afford the fees;
  • had an unjustified negative impact on the constitutional right of access to the courts; and
  • imposed unjustified limitations on the ability to enforce employment rights deriving from EU law.

As we predicted at the time, proposing a new fee regime would always be an option for the government.

The government could reintroduce ET fees by act of Parliament, in which case it would not be open to challenge by the courts. However, the current government does appear to prefer to use secondary legislation instead.

In that case, the government would feel more confident in dealing with challenges to reintroduced ET fees based on the first three bullet points above if it was acting in line with Law Commission recommendations. Assuming the scheme is not introduced until 2021, the EU law point would no longer be relevant.

We will keep you updated with any developments.

Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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Russell  Dann

Russell Dann

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Employment team
+44 (0)118 958 5321