HR advice from Kim Hayton, HR Director at FDR Law
Q: What next, now that the Employment Tribunal Fees have been dropped?
A: In July 2017 the Supreme Court ruled that the Employment Tribunal fees introduced in 2013 were unlawful and as a result were abolished immediately.
In the four years when a fee was required in order to put forward a claim, the numbers overall dropped by 80% and there was a 91% drop in sex discrimination claims.
It was felt that many people who would have normally made a claim were not able to, due to the costs involved and therefore this was considered a discrimination in itself.
Fees are being refunded by the Government to people who made a claim during the period and as a result of the fees being scrapped, there has already been an increase of 64% in the number of claims made, and that is expected to rise further, and many will likely be from the period when fees were in place.
We would recommend that businesses take a look back over the last 4 years to identify if there could be any potential issues.
Keep a dated paper trail of any current issues, even informally in an email to yourself can help you with remembering details and timings, which may or may not be needed in the future. It’s worth noting that in Unfair Dismissal cases, the burden of proof is on the employer to prove that an employee wasn’t unfairly dismissed. However, it is the other way around for Constructive Dismissal cases and it is the employee’s responsibility to provide the evidence.