On 26 July 2017 the Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgment in the case of R (on the application of UNISON) (Appellant) v Lord Chancellor (Respondent)  UKSC 51 which overturned the requirement for claimants to pay (if ineligible for remission) up to £1200 to have their claim heard at an Employment Tribunal. The introduction of the fees in 2013 was argued successfully as preventing claimants having access to justice and in particular discriminated against low paid and even average paid workers as well as disproportionately affecting women and contrary to the principles of the Equality Act 2010.
It is anticipated that employment claims may rise to pre-2013 levels as a result of the abolition of the fees and while this is good news for claimants who wish to bring legitimate claims, it also serves as a reminder that the balance of economic power between workers and employers has again shifted.
Employers should ensure the appropriate contracts, policies and procedures are in place (together with all associated training) to limit their exposure of a claim being brought against them and seek advice from our employment lawyers or our HR personnel on any aspect where they believe they may be vulnerable.
For more information about the employment law services we offer please see our employment law page.