Employment law has been high up the news bulletins recently after the Supreme Court ruled employment tribunal fees are unlawful – leaving the government with a £32m bill that it has to settle with past claimants.
Fees for employment tribunals were first introduced in 2013, and meant that those wishing to take their ex-employer to court would have to pay up to £1,200. The idea was to reduce the number of spurious and weak claims being brought by employees. However, the Supreme Court believes the government acted unconstitutionally when the fees were introduced.
The Supreme Court’s decision is, on balance, probably fair to some extent; there has been a huge drop in tribunals as the fee obviously deters those who don’t financially have those means to take an honest case to tribunal.
In the main it was introduced to cut down vexatious claims being brought by employees as there were nil consequences to them if their complaints weren’t upheld.
It was established that this, among other issues, was a major deciding factor when the change was made some four years ago. Maybe therein lies the problem; the deterrent could be retrospective therefore going some way to appeasing the issues from both employer and employee point of view. Those who don’t have a serious and true reason to bring an employer to account won’t, therefore employers also won’t have to prove their innocence as they were in effect considered guilty from the off.
If you’re concerned about what the Surpreme Court’s decision will mean for you, please do get in touch.
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