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New challenge to employment tribunal fees

In February, we blogged on Unison’s unsuccessful challenge to the introduction of tribunal fees. At the time, the High Court stressed that in many respects the case had been brought too early as there was insufficient statistical evidence available at that time to judge the new fee regime.

It has been reported that yesterday Unison was granted permission to appeal against the High Court’s decision to reject its challenge to tribunal fees. According to Unison, the Court of Appeal decided that ‘the basis of the issue is of sufficient general importance to merit permission to appeal’.

Unison is arguing that the fees make it ‘virtually impossible, or excessively difficult’ for claimants to bring tribunal claims to enforce their employment rights. Unison will ask the High Court to consider this again in the context of the quarterly tribunal statistics for October to December 2013, which revealed a 79% drop in employment claims compared with the same period in 2012.

It is thought that a review of the level of fees being charged is more likely to be successful than a challenge to the requirement to pay a tribunal fee itself.

Watch this space.

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