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Legal Update: Employment Tribunal fees have been abolished

Summer 2017 saw the Supreme Court ruling that the fees previously required by employees to open a tribunal claim against their employers has been ruled unlawful. And demanded that the government refund £32M of fees paid by claimants since July 2013.

When an employee feels they have been unfairly dismissed from their job or that they are being treated unfairly they have the opportunity to place a claim with the Employment Tribunal. Previous to 2013 there were no fees associated with filing a claim, but as our government belts tightened they enforced a new set of fees averaging £1,200 per case to be paid when filing a claim. The purpose of these new fees was to decrease the number cases that had no merit by discouraging those that could be trying to make a false claim.

The Tribunal saw an immediate and significant decrease of around 70% in claims placed between 2013-2017. So it seemed as if the new fees were a success.

Unison, the UK’s largest trade union, took it to the Supreme Court to say that these fees were discriminatory against workers, and that this penalised employees financially at a time when they most certainly can’t afford it. Opening the door for poor employers to mistreat their staff knowing that a Tribunal Claim was highly unlikely.

Now that the fees have been lifted, employees that have been treated unfairly have the freedom again to file a Tribunal Claim and the waiting list is already many months long before a case will be heard.

In addition those people that paid the £1,200 fee over the last 4 years will automatically be receiving a full refund from the government in the upcoming months.

Employers need to be more vigilant than ever and make sure they are obeying the UK Employment Laws and treating their employees with fairness and respect.

If you would like to learn more about how and when to make an employment claim listen to our 45 minutes Legal Eagles radio programme by our Employment Solicitor Bhavini Thakkar.

If you are an employee and feel that you have been unfairly treated or dismissed, please fill in the enquiry form below or contact your local Hopkins Solicitors office and a member of our Employment Team will be in touch to answer your questions.

If you are an employer and would like someone from our Employment Legal Team to contact you to schedule a review of your HR contracts and procedures please fill in the enquiry form below or ring your local Hopkins Solicitors office and a member of our team will be happy to schedule a time to come and visit you.

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