The long-awaited government review of the introduction of employment tribunal fees has finally been published by the Ministry of Justice.
The review finds that: “While there is clear evidence that ET fees have discouraged people from bringing claims, there is no conclusive evidence that they have been prevented from doing so.”
Public services union UNISON is taking the fight against the introduction of fees through the courts and its case is due to be heard in the highest court in the land — the Supreme Court — at the end of March.
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The introduction of fees was a terrible decision. The Lord Chancellor should be big enough now to accept her department got this one badly wrong.
“Tribunal fees should be scrapped immediately, before any more law-breaking employers escape punishment because wronged workers simply don’t have the cash to take them to court.
“Unfortunately it’s now much harder for people who’ve been treated unfairly at work to seek justice. Women have been the biggest losers, bad bosses the undoubted winners.
The review’s findings were also slated by the Law Society, the representative body for solicitors in England and Wales.
Law Society president Robert Bourns said: “The minister asserts there is ‘no evidence to suggest’ the fees are limiting access to justice — but the evidence in his own report suggests that tens of thousands of people are slipping through the cracks.
“The truth is employment tribunal fees have had a chilling effect on the number of people able or willing to bring a case against their employer.