Workers being ‘priced out of justice’ by tribunal fee hikes

pound coinThe overall number of employment tribunal claims in the last quarter in the first three months of the year was down 81% on the same period last year following the introduction of court fees last year, according to the Ministry of Justice’s latest figures. Tribunal fees were introduced last July 2013. The new MoJ statistics follow on from those of the last quarter of 2013 which were down 79% fewer than in the same period of 2012 – and down 75% on the period July to September 2013.

‘This downward spiral in the number of employment tribunal cases shows only too clearly that workers are being priced out of a fair hearing,’ commented Dave Prentis, general secretary of UNISON. The figures made ‘shocking reading’ because claims were now at ‘a perilously low level’ and it was clear that the introduction of fees was ‘undermining the whole tribunal system’.

UNISON had challenged the introduction of the fees but lost its claim in February and an appeal is expected later this year.

About Jon Robins

Jon is a journalist and has written about the law and justice for the national papers and specialist press for more than 15 years. Jon is a visiting journalism lecturer at Winchester University, a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln and patron of Hackney Community Law Centre. He has won the Bar Council’s legal reporter of the year award twice (2015 and 2005). Jon is editor and co-founder of LegalVoice

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