Tribunal fees - what effect on access to justice?
Partner, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
Responses received by the House of Commons Justice Committee inquiry on the impact of tribunal fees have highlighted concerns over access to justice.
On the whole, the evidence submitted suggests that the introduction of tribunal fees has reduced the number of not only vexatious claims, but also the meritorious. Many responses received by the Committee contain recommendations that fees should be reduced, and, in the case of Citizens Advice, that an alternative system for low value claims should be introduced. Other responses to the inquiry included the following:
- Evidence submitted by Working Families suggested that the UK's 1.2 million employers now risk facing a tribunal claim once every 60 years.
- Unison has criticised the fee remission scheme claiming it is not as generous as necessary to effectively mitigate the effect of fees on lower-paid workers.
- The Equality and Human Rights Commission reported a 91% decrease in sex discrimination claims. The Commission additionally observed that fees will affect women, disproportionately following a drop in pregnancy and maternity discrimination claims.
Whilst the deadline for evidence has now passed, the Committee is continuing to accept submissions. We will report further on the outcome of the inquiry once it is published.
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