The Supreme Court ruled on 26 July that Employment Tribunal (ET) fees introduced by an Order in 2013 are unlawful both under UK and EU law. The decision means that all ET fees paid since 29 July 2013 are to be reimbursed by the government and fees will no longer be payable for all claims issued on or after 26 July.
The Supreme Court decided the fees were unlawful primarily as they prevented access to justice. Employment Tribunals provide a social benefit; individuals and businesses both need to know rights can be enforced and remedies made against.
It is expected the number of claims being made will now increase. However, a point of particular interest will be if claims, which otherwise would be out of time, will be made on the basis the claimant was prevented from making their claim due to the unlawful fees regime and how the courts will deal with these.