18 June, 2013
An Employment Solicitor at Forbes is warning that Unison challenging the introduction of Tribunal Fees is a step back for the Government's plans to reduce the number of Employment Tribunals.
Unison is set to challenge the Ministry of Justice's decision to bring in fees for claims in the Employment Tribunal and is applying to the High Court to judicially review the decision to introduce fees as of the 29th July 2013, stating that "It is completely wrong for access to the law and employment justice to be based on what you can or cannot afford."
It will be argued that the introduction of fees will make it virtually impossible for workers to exercise their rights under employment law, and in doing so, is contrary to EU Law. Unison's General Secretary went on to say that the planned charges would give "unscrupulous employers the green light to ride roughshod over employee's already very basic rights at work" and would have a particularly adverse impact upon women in their pursuit of equal pay claims.
Indirect discrimination and breach of EU law will serve as two of the legal arguments which Unison plan to put to the High Court in their application for Judicial Review.
Jonathan Holden, a solicitor within the Forbes Employment Team, comments, "It was hoped that the introduction of fees would prevent unmeritorious claims which take up valuable Tribunal and employer resources and encourage people to look at alternatives such as mediation with the Tribunal becoming a last resort. However this must not be at the expense of those with legitimate claims, without the means to secure redress."