Supreme Court rules employment tribunal fees are unlawful

Supreme Court rules employment tribunal fees are unlawful

Since 2013, employees have had to pay a fee of up to £1200 to take their employer to an employment tribunal. According to an official review this led to a drop of around 70% in the number of cases taken to the employment tribunal.

However, The Supreme Court has now ruled that the fee regime for taking cases to an employment tribunal is unlawful. It is likely that fees paid by employees since 2013 will be refunded by the Government.

The case was brought by Unison who argued that the fees discriminated against women and other groups of workers. The ruling was made on the grounds that the prohibitively high fees effectively took away individuals’ employment rights and the Government had acted unlawfully by doing so.

What this may mean going forward?

The Government may decide to bring in a different fees regime or scrap it entirely. Or employees who were put off issuing a claim because of the fees may decide to seek permission from the employment tribunal to issue their claims out of time.

If you are an employer or an employee and think you may be affected by this ruling then please contact Stephanie Rushfirth on 01926 356022 or email

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