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UK government consults on charging fees for employment tribunals

10 April 2024

The UK government is consulting on a proposal that would see a £55 fee introduced for workers who attempt to bring an employer before an Employment Tribunal or Employment Appeal Tribunal.

The consultation on the introduction of a flat £55 fee went ahead despite the fact that the UK Supreme Court ruled in 2017 that employment tribunal fees were unlawful, and could prevent access to justice even when they were affordable.

Nautilus International's director of legal services, Charles Boyle, attended the TUC's legal officers' meetings, which have discussed a response to strongly oppose the proposal.

'The introduction of fees means putting a price on the ability to hold your employer to account for bad behaviour,' he said. 'This will discourage people from seeking justice – we know this is likely because there was a significant drop in the number of claims brought to Employment Tribunals when fees were introduced before, and the case levels have still not recovered.

'For those facing economic hardship, £55 could be a significant barrier to bringing their case before a tribunal, and it is also not proportionate in cases where the employee is seeking to recover a small sum from their employer. Moreover, many important employment cases that have established important legal principles do not relate to financial losses on the part of the employee.

'We are in agreement with the TUC that access to justice should not depend on a person's financial means.'


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