Bring back tribunal fees?

The Lord Chancellor has said that his department intends to bring back employment tribunal fees. In July, the Supreme Court decided that employment tribunal fees were unlawful and should be abolished.

However David Lidington pointed out that the judgment did not rule out charging fees entirely. “We still intend to charge fees,” he said. “I think it is necessary as a contribution to costs. It is also necessary and sensible as a deterrent to frivolous or vexatious litigation and that was something the court itself acknowledged. Lidington said he accepted that the government had got the balance wrong on how much it should be charging.

Less than a week ago, the Ministry of Justice launched the first phase of its plans to refund fees to those who had paid them after they were introduced in 2013, which will involve writing to as many as 1,000 individuals who had contacted the government since the judgment. It intends to widen the scheme out to others – including employers that have been ordered to pay costs on behalf of somebody bringing a claim – in November.

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