Given the controversy surrounding Employment Tribunal fees, it is not surprising that they feature in the manifestos. Labour states that it will “abolish the Government’s employment tribunal fee system as part of wider reforms to make sure that affordability is not a barrier to workers having proper access to justice, employers get a quicker resolution, and the costs to the tax payer do not rise”. In its workplace manifesto, Labour added that “[The current system] represents a significant barrier to workplace justice, and has failed to raise any money…We will ask ACAS to oversee a process led by the CBI [Confederation of British Industry] and the TUC [Trade Union Congress] to agree reforms to the system”. Although it is not entirely clear whether Labour want to abolish the fee system completely, or just the current system and replace it with another, its proposals regarding the wider reforms and involving ACAS, CBI and the TUC may mean that any such reforms are unlikely to be concluded quickly.
Vince Cable of the Lib Dems has made it clear that introducing Employment Tribunal fees was “a very bad move”. They have pledged to undertake a review of the fee system in a bid to improve the enforcement of employment rights and to ensure that the fees are not a barrier to the Employment Tribunal system.