Supreme Court judgment should increase access to justice for workers

Commenting on today’s Supreme Court judgment relating to Employment Tribunal fees, Carolyn Brown, employment lawyer and head of RSM client legal services said:

‘The Supreme Court has today decided that the Government introduction of Tribunal Fees in 2013 was unlawful under both UK and EU law. It also decided that it was discriminatory because the fee level bore no relation to the cost of a specific claim. The Supreme Court accepted that fees put women at a particular disadvantage.

‘This is a major success for Unison in its long running campaign to overturn this barrier to access to justice widely recognised by all except the Government's own Review earlier this year. Matthew Taylor referenced this challenge in his Review published this month by suggesting that status assessments by Tribunals should be decided as preliminary issues and not attract fees.

‘Since the Government in its recent Brexit factsheet again repeated its intention to maintain workers rights presumably they will act quickly to ensure practical steps are taken to open up the Tribunals again to claimants.’