The Government’s intention to introduce Tribunal fees from 29th July 2013 is quite possibly the most controversial change to the Employment Tribunal procedure that they have made to date.

Under the new structure a fee will need to be paid on lodging a claim and a further ‘hearing fee’ will become payable if the case proceeds to Tribunal.  More fees will then apply if the decision is appealed.

Scottish Law firm, Fox and Partners have lodged an application for judicial review of these fees.  Following an initial meeting yesterday morning, the Court of Session in Edinburgh has decided to expedite the full hearing, which will now take place on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

Among the arguments advanced by the Scottish firm is that the fees will make it more difficult for women, who are typically on lower wages, to bring claims.  They also say that the fees place a financial burden on workers who have been unfairly dismissed or made redundant and that employees with smaller claims will be deterred from pursuing their statutory rights.

Unison, also announced that they are calling for judicial review of the fees arguing that, in addition to being discriminatory against women, the new structure is in breach of European Law.