Supreme Court ruling that employment tribunal fees are unlawful is welcomed by Tayside employment expert

A recent landmark Supreme Court ruling that employment tribunal fees are unlawful has been welcomed by a leading Tayside employment expert.

Alan Matthew from Miller Hendry, which has branches in Dundee, Perth and Crieff, hailed the unanimous decision against the UK Government as “one of the most important in employment law in the modern era”.

The UK Government will now have to refund up to £32m to claimants after trade union Unison argued successfully that fees introduced in 2013 prevented workers accessing justice.

The Supreme Court ruled the government acted unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced the charges of up to £1,200 in 2013 in a bid to reduce the number of malicious and weak cases.

The Ministry of Justice said it would take immediate steps to stop charging and refund payments.

Mr Matthew has publicly lobbied for a rethink on tribunal charges since 2013, strongly supporting the right of employees to access justice.

He said: “When fees were introduced they had the fairly immediate effect of creating a financial barrier to proceeding with a claim for those wishing to take their employer to tribunal.

“While this was good news for employers who faced significantly less litigation and costs, the balance of power in the employment relationship was affected and not for the better.

“A significant number of people found these fees unaffordable and this latest judgment has helped restore that principle of employment rights for all, including the lower paid.

“However, now that the charges have been scrapped employers will have to brace themselves for a large increase in such claims.”

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