Out-Law News

Employment tribunals await guidance on how to handle claims struck out for non-payment of fees

Employment tribunal claims brought "in reliance upon" the Supreme Court's recent judgment on the unlawfulness of tribunal fees have been suspended until the government decides how best to proceed, the tribunal service has announced.

The case management orders, issued by the presidents of the employment tribunals in Scotland (1-page / 32KB PDF) and in England and Wales (2-page / 84KB PDF), mean that applications brought by people whose claims were previously dismissed or struck out for non-payment of fees cannot proceed until the government and the courts service have announced how they will be dealt with.

The orders refer to rules 11 and 40 of the amended Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure, which deal specifically with how the tribunals should handle applications that come without a fee or application for fee remission attached.

Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that the 2013 introduction of fees to bring a claim in the UK's employment tribunals breached both domestic and EU law. Charging fees of up to £1,600 to bring a claim restricted access to justice and was also indirectly discriminatory, because the two-tier fee structure put women, who are statistically more likely to bring more complex claims such as for pregnancy discrimination, at a particular disadvantage, according to the unanimous judgment.

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