Unison’s appeal against the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees
Since July 2013 anyone wanting to pursue a claim in the Employment Tribunal is required to pay a fee of £160 or £230 (depending on the type of claim) and then a fee for the final Hearing of either £250 or £95. Some people on a low income or in receipt of benefits qualify for a fee exemption but generally most people have to pay these Employment Tribunal fees. Prior to July 2013 there was no cost to make a claim.
The trade union, Unison have been challenging the governments decision through the Courts and at the High Court the application was rejected. One of the reasons for the rejection was that the full impact of the fees introduction could not be measured as it was too early.
Now that the first set of figures has been released regarding the number of claims it shows that there has been a 79% decrease in claims for the same period (October – December) the previous year. This is clearly a large decrease and there is concern that because of the Employment Tribunal fees people do not have the same access to justice.
Unison have now applied to the Court of Appeal for the right to appeal the decision of the High Court, and permission has now been granted. This means that Unison will now have the opportunity to argue the case against fees and will undoubtedly draw attention to the huge impact on the number of claims.