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Employment Law: Tribunal fees

The Ministry of Justice has suggested that employment tribunal fees may be reintroduced. The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Justice said that a balance could be reached between increasing tribunal funding (via fees) and ensuring employees still had access to justice. He said the Unison Supreme Court case which resulted in fees being abolished did not rule out fees completely. What is important is getting the fees right and ensuring that people who cannot afford to pay can still bring a claim.

There are no immediate plans to reintroduce fees, but it looks like a new fee regime is being actively investigated. This is good news for employers. Statistics show that the introduction of tribunal fees in 2013 significantly reduced claims. However, the new system is likely to be more ‘claimant-friendly’ in order to avoid arguments that it prevents access to justice. Employers should not celebrate just yet.