Legal update – tribunal fees

The government is considering the reintroduction of fees for taking claims to an Employment Tribunal and appealing to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Members may remember the previous attempt to do so, which was struck down as unlawful following a challenge by Unison on the basis that the level of fees acted as a barrier to access to justice for many on low incomes, discrimination claimants and for women.

The new proposal seems to have considered that finding. The fee level proposed would be £55.00 to raise a claim at an Employment Tribunal with no additional hearing fee. The same fee would be payable to lodge an appeal with the Employment Appeal Tribunal at the rate of £55.00 per judgment, decision, direction or order of an Employment Tribunal being appealed. There will also be provision for remission for those on the lowest incomes.

The stated aims of reintroducing fees are said to be to contribute to the running costs of the Tribunals and put users on a similar footing to users of other Courts and Tribunals who already pay fees.

A consultation paper has been published with the consultation closing on 25 March 2024. We will keep members advised of developments, but it appears likely that fees for Tribunals will be making a comeback soon.