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Mediation News

31-07-2013

Employment Tribunal Fees Challenged

On Monday the 29th July 2013 it was announced that Unison was unsuccessful in securing a judicial review from the High Court with regards to claimants now having to pay upfront to bring an employment tribunal.With the new employment tribunal fees of twelve hundred pounds (£1200.00), introduced, being in place for only a day, Unison have now won its appeal challenging the tribunal fees introduction.The new rules state employees can no longer bring claims for free; there are certain mandatory fees which need to be paid upon issue of a claim and then a further fee for the hearing. The fees are higher for more complex claims, again with a higher hearing fee.Unison had tried to stop the introduction of the fees by challenging them through the High Court last week; unfortunately the challenge was rejected whereby the new rules proceeded as planned by the government.

The Royal Courts of Justice have granted Unison the permission for a judicial review hearing in October 2013, Unison leaders are hoping the changes will be revoked through a further ruling, whereby those who have had to pay fees under the new rules are refunded.

Unisons general secretary Dave Prentis said, the government should not put a price on justice. It is disappointing that in the interim fees will still be paid, but we will be making a strong case for a Judicial Review in October because we believe that these fees are unfair and should be dropped.

Helen Grant the Justice Minister said the new fees would be very carefully monitored to assess the effect on females, focusing clearly upon justice being done and if it was not this issue would need to be revisited.

She made it clear that it was not equitable for the taxpayer to meet the £74 million bill for people trying to resolve workplace disputes through an employment tribunal; equally she felt that where individuals could afford to pay a contribution, they should do towards it.

She clearly championed the use of alternative dispute resolution methods to resolving employment disputes, encouraging the use of employment mediation as she termed it; it is quicker, cheaper and simpler.