Law Update: Unison loses fight over Tribunal fees

The Court of Appeal has dismissed Unison’s third bid to overturn the introduction of tribunal fees.

Background

In July 2013 Employment tribunal fees were introduced for workers wishing to lodge a claim against an employer. With fees starting from £160 rising up to £950 Unison have been battling ever since to have the fees abolished and in July 2013 sought permission in the High Court to bring a Judicial Review.

Unison’s first claim was heard in the High Court in November 2013 and despite statistics from the Ministry of Justice showing a 56% drop in tribunal claims between July and September 2013 (compared to the same period in the pervious year) Unison’s claim was unsuccessful.  The High Court stated that Unison’s claims were premature and that further evidence should be obtained before new proceedings are lodged.

Despite two further appeals and statistics from the Ministry of Justice now rising to 81% reduction in claims, on 26 August 2015 Unison’s third claim was again unsuccessful.

Unison have vowed to continue the fight over employment tribunal fees and have made an application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Timeline and statistics

Date Description
29 July 2013 Introduction of employment tribunal fees.
29 July 2013 Unison seek permission in the High Court to bring a Judicial Review.
Oct/Nov 2013 Unison’s first claim is heard in the High Court.
December 2013 Statistics from Ministry of Justice show claims down by 56%(period July – September 2013)
February 2014 Unison’s challenge is unsuccessful.
March 2014 Statistics from Ministry of Justice show claims down by 79%(period October – December 2013)
May 2014 Unison granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
June 2014 Statistics from Ministry of Justice show claims down by 81%(January – March 2014)
September 2014 Statistics from Ministry of Justice show claims down by 81%(period April – June 2014)
September 2014 Court of Appeal claim is stayed to allow a second High Court Challenge.
October 2014 Unison brings its second Judicial Review challenge against the Lord Chancellor.
December 2014 Unison’s second challenge is unsuccessful despite “the striking and very dramatic reduction in claims”.
April 2015 The Court of appeal hears Unison’s appeals in relation to both High Court claims.
26 August 2015 Unison is unsuccessful at the Court of Appeal and an application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court is been made.

source: www.unison.org.uk

Have your say?

We would be interested to hear from you with your views.

• Is the introduction of tribunal fees a good or a bad idea?
• Has it had a direct impact on you or a family member?
• Does the introduction have a bearing on whether you would or indeed could peruse a claim?

If you wish to speak to  one of our experts, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Employment team on the details below.

Mark Hirst: mhirst@bromleys.co.uk
Nicholas Clough: nclough@bromleys.co.uk
Rachael Frankland: rfrankland@bromleys.co.uk

Telephone: 0161 330 6821

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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