Previously I have blogged on the proposed introduction of Employment Tribunal Fees on 29 July 2013. In the July edition of our E-Bulletin I mentioned that UNISON are intending to submit an application for judicial review of the Government's decision to introduce these fees.
I can now report that the Scottish Law firm, Fox and Partners, have lodged a petition for judicial review, challenging the introduction of Tribunal Fees. Fox and Partners are seeking an interim interdict (the equivalent of an interim injunction in England & Wales) which will have the effect of preventing the introduction of the fees on 29 July 2013 in Scotland pending a full hearing on the issues.
The initial hearing is taking place tomorrow (4 July 2013) at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
Fox and Partners are arguing that the imposition of the fees due to come into force on 29 July is unjust and that they will further limit access to justice. In particular, according to a press release that they have issued, they will argue that it will be very difficult for low paid women to lodge equal pay claims, that a financial burden will be placed on those workers who are unfairly dismissed or made redundant and that it will impose a monetary penalty on employees wishing to lodge a whistleblowing case. They will also seek review on the basis that workers may be deterred from pursuing small claims for things such as unlawful deductions from wages or unpaid holidays, as the award may be disproportionate to the level of the fee. They will also make the point that the proposed Employment Tribunal fees are high in comparison to the fees normally payable in the Scottish courts. Overall it will be argued that the fees are incompatible with EU and Human Rights law.