Judicial review challenge to employment tribunal fees dismissed
The statistics show that there has been a striking and dramatic drop in employment tribunal claims since fees have been introduced.
In the judicial review challenge brought by the union, UNISON, the High Court was not satisfied that the decrease in the number of claims was due to the introduction of employment tribunal fees and unlawful under EU law. There was no evidence to show that the drop in claims was actually due to prospective claimants' inability to pay, but rather the High Court found that the statistics showed individuals' unwillingness to bring claims given the risk of gambling the fee against the prospects of succeeding with the claim.
The High Court also held that the fees regime was not indirectly discriminatory against women as there was no significant adverse impact on women. Recent statistics showed that those paying higher fees were 55% men and 45% which largely reflected the proportions of men and women in the workplace. In any event, the overall fees regime, including the fee remission system in place when Claimants do not have the resources to pay fees, had legitimate aims and was proportionate.
UNISON has been granted leave to appeal and has indicated it will appeal. We will keep you updated on any developments.
For more information, please contact Helen Hughes on 020 7665 0816.
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