The Supreme Court has ruled that the Government’s employment tribunal fees are illegal and fees already charged will be refunded.
The UK’s trade union, Unison, took the government to court, arguing that the charges are illegal and discriminatory.
An analysis by Unison found that low-paid women, especially those treated unfairly when they were on maternity leave or pregnant were the biggest losers. And Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary said: “Too many low-paid workers couldn’t afford to uphold their rights at work, even when they’ve faced harassment or have been sacked unfairly”.
From July 26th, anyone who has been treated illegally or unfairly at work will no longer have to pay to take their employers to court.
The government will also have to refund more than £27m to the thousands of people charged for taking claims to tribunals since July 2013, when fees were introduced by Chris Grayling, the then Lord Chancellor.
“The Supreme Court correctly criticised the government’s failure when it set the fees to consider the public benefits flowing from the enforcement of legal rights enacted by Parliament” said Unison’s assistant general secretary, Bronwyn McKenna.
According to Unison’s evidence the fees were “so sharp, so substantial and so sustained” that they could not reasonably be afforded by those on low to middle incomes.
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