Unison is Challenging Tribunal Fees

Unison is challenging tribunal fees by way of judicial review.  The UK’s largest union is taking the government to a Judicial Review in protest over the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees.  Their legal action is backed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

For the first time, mistreated employees are required to pay hefty upfront court fees if they wish to take their employers to tribunals.  Previously, employees could challenge their employers without having to consider the financial risk they were putting themselves under; now they must take a view about whether the benefits outweigh the costs when considering whether to enforce their employment rights.

There is provision for the remission of fees for those on limited incomes but the application process for remission is complicated and strictly means tested.  A worker earning average pay would still be required to pay.

To add to the strength of Unison’s case, commentators believe that new figures will be released by the government which indicate that there has been a significant drop in the number of individual claims being brought to tribunals.  It appears that employees are simply choosing to accept unfair treatment rather than paying upfront to challenge it.

The Ministry of Justice has indicated that it will repay all the fees so far paid to it if the judicial review upholds Unisons case.