Unison to Judicially Review 'Brutal' Employment Tribunal Fees
News that Unison has applied for Judicial Review of the Government's controversial plans to introduce fees in the Employment Tribunal has gone viral in the Labour Law community. A key theme in the application is access to justice for working people, particularly women. Unison has described the proposed fees of up to£1000 for individuals to bring a claim and have that claim determined in the Employment Tribunals as "brutal".
In summary, the basis of the legal argument is four-fold:
The fees make it difficult, to the point of impossibility, to enforce workers' rights under European Community law.
There are no fees for enforcing domestic rights at a First Tier Tribunal - which is at a similar level to the Employment Tribunals - so the proposed fees offend against the principle of equivalence.
There was no adequate assessment of the proposed fees system by the Government in accordance with the Government's Public Sector Equality Duty (introduced by the previous Labour Government).
The fees are indirectly discriminatory; that is although apparently neutral in expression or written form, the effect in practice would place women at a particular disadvantage, including in the application of the scheme for the partial remission of the fees.
Read more: <> Lauren Godfrey, UK Human Rights Blog, 21/06/13