Newsflash: Tribunal fees – here to stay (for now…)

tribunal fees - stack of pound coinsWhat do we already know?

Unison brought judicial review proceedings to try to bring an end to the Tribunal fees which were introduced in July 2013. The High Court hearing took place on 22-23 October and 4 November 2013.

For more information on Tribunal fees please see the Menzies Law website here.

What’s new?

The High Court has rejected Unison’s challenge. Therefore Tribunal fees will carry on for now.

However, uncertainty still remains as Unison has already announced that it will appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal. Further, Unison failed to a large extent because at the time the proceedings were heard the fees regime had not been in place for long: the High Court felt it too soon to properly assess the impact of Tribunal fees. No doubt further challenge/s to the Tribunal fees are to come when there has been sufficient time to gather ammunition against the fee regime. Indeed one such challenge is already in the pipeline – that brought by Scottish law firm Fox & Partners – which had been stayed pending the outcome of Unison’s proceedings.

Comment:

This is generally good news for employers as since the fees have been in force there have been notably fewer Tribunal claims. However, for the reasons set out above, the future of Tribunal fees is not yet certain. Watch this space to see whether Tribunal fees are to enjoy a long and healthy life…