Unison has confirmed that it is making an application to the High Court to challenge the introduction of employment tribunal fees. This is a judicial review of the Ministry of Justice’s decision to introduce employment tribunal and employment tribunal fees from 29 July 2013.
Unison argues that the introduction of fees is in breach of EU law and contrary to the principle of access to justice.
The main arguments for Unison are:
- In accordance with EU law, national courts must not make it virtually impossible or excessively difficult, to exercise individual rights conferred by European Community Law. The introduction of Employment Tribunal fees will prevent people exercising their EU rights.
- Only introducing fees for the Employment Tribunal and not the First-Tier Tribunal (a similar tribunal at the equivalent level in the judicial hierarchy) breaches the principle of equivalence.
- There has been no proper assessment of the Public Sector Equality Duty. An assessment should have been made to determine the potential adverse effect of introducing fees in terms of the potential adverse effect of introducing fees in terms of the numbers and proportions of claims brought about by individuals with protected characteristics.
- Indirect Discrimination. The introduction of employment tribunal fees are indirectly discriminatory because the fees will have a disproportionate adverse impact on women who are likely to earn only an ‘average income’ and therefore will not be entitled to a fee remission.
For more information on this, please contact us on 01483 303636.