Update on Tribunal Fees


The House of Commons Justice Select Committee has published its report on courts and tribunals fees. The Committee concluded that the tribunal fees have had a significant adverse impact on access to justice for meritorious claims. The Government’s own report has been written but has not yet been published, and Unison’s judicial review of ET fees will be heard in the Supreme Court on 7 and 8 December 2016.
Some of the main findings of the report include:
• While there may be some other relevant factors, the timing and scale of the reduction in claims following immediately after the introduction of fees “can leave no doubt that the clear majority of the decline is attributable to fees”;
• The delay to publication of the government’s own report is unacceptable and has been detrimental to the work of the Select Committee. It should be published without delay;
• The overall quantum of fees charged for bringing cases to employment tribunals should be substantially reduced;
• The type A / type B distinction should be replaced;
• Fee remission thresholds should be increased so that more people can benefit; and
• Special consideration should be given to women alleging maternity or pregnancy discrimination.
The Select Committee concluded that although it did not object in principle to the raising of income from litigants through fees for bringing cases to the courts, any such system should not unreasonably damage access to justice.