Neil Andrews - Partner, Coles Miller

Business-Friendly Decision To Uphold Employment Tribunal Fees18th Dec 2014

by on 18th Dec 2014


Employers can breathe a sigh of relief after Unison failed in its latest bid to overturn employment tribunal fees - but that is no reason to be complacent, warn solicitors Coles Miller.

Neil Andrews

Unison’s application for a judicial review was dismissed by the High Court - the trade union’s second failed attempt to get the rules overturned. It has already vowed to appeal.

Coles Miller employment law solicitor Neil Andrews said: “This is a very employer-friendly decision - and a highly significant one. It looks very much as if the fees are here to stay.

“Employees seeking to bring claims against their employers will still have to put their money where their mouth is.”

But he added a warning: “Good employers could suffer if less scrupulous companies exploit the decision as an opportunity to treat their workers badly - unfairly undercutting their law-abiding competitors.”

Unison challenged the fees on the basis that they discriminated against workers - pointing to the dramatic drop in numbers of claims going before tribunals following the introduction of the charges.

Ministry of Justice quarterly figures for July to September 2014 reveal a 66 per cent fall in claims to 13,612 compared with same three months in 2013.

Under the rules, employees bringing a tribunal claim are first charged an Issue Fee: £160 for a Type A claim (such as unpaid wages) and £250 for a Type B claim (such as unfair dismissal). They must then pay a Hearing Fee: Type A (£230), Type B (£950).

Coles Miller has one of the largest teams of commercial solicitors in the Bournemouth and Poole area.

Their employment law work includes unfair dismissal, discrimination claims, flexible working, TUPE, restrictive covenants, health and safety, data protection and business reorganisations.

Coles Miller has 14 Partners and 120 staff based at four offices in Bournemouth, Poole, Broadstone and Wimborne.

For more information, contact employment law solicitor Neil Andrews at Coles Miller, 01202 335695.