As we all know, the 2013 introduction of fees in employment tribunals has led to a significant decline in cases being brought. A recently published report found that there has been a drop of up to 70% in the number of claims being brought. It also concluded that there has been an adverse impact on access to justice for meritorious claims.

The report, published by House of Commons Justice Committee, looked at the impact of the fees, and in particular the impact on access to justice. It makes a number of proposals to address this issue, including a reduction in the level of fees, introducing a more proportionate fee system, and giving special consideration to claims involving maternity or pregnancy discrimination.

Government apologises for delay in publishing review

On 4 July 2016, during the House of Commons debate of the Justice Committee report, the Justice Minister, Dominic Raab MP, apologised for the delay in publishing the government’s separate review into the effects of tribunal fees. The Justice Committee had heavily criticised this delay and Mr Raab stated that the review will be published “as soon as is practicable”.

The government’s review commenced in June 2015, with its purpose stated as being to consider how effective the introduction of fees has been in meeting the original objectives, while maintaining access to justice. The review will also consider how effective the current fee remission scheme has been, since its introduction in October 2013.

It is expected that following publication of the reviews, proposals will be put forward to make changes to the fee regime. These changes may mean that respite from tribunal claims – which many employers have been enjoying since 2013 – will be over.

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