Employment tribunal costs condemned

NEW employment tribunal costs being introduced today have been roundly criticised by both unionists and employer groups.

Berwin Leighton Paisner partner Fraser Younson said: “The employment tribunal’s fees scheme was introduced by the government with the dual objectives of cutting the costs to the taxpayer of an increasing number of tribunal claims and also to discourage ‘try on’ claims by employees. Whilst the fees may well discourage some unmeritorious claims, there are a number of other consequences.

“If cases get settled, claimants are likely to ask for the reimbursement of their tribunal fees from their employer, so pushing up the settlement costs for employers. Once the hearing fee has been incurred, claimants may well decide they want their day in court, and so make settlement less likely.”

Unite union said around 1,500 workers a year will now have to pay around £1,200 upfront for fees.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “What we are seeing today is injustice writ large as this worker-bashing government takes a sledgehammer to workers’ rights.”

Dentons partner Michael Bronstein added: “Inevitably, Tribunal fees will deter some workers with perfectly valid claims from pursuing them.”