In past few months we have posted blogs about the evidence sessions held by the Commons Justice Committee into court and tribunal fees. We highlighted the prime question under consideration that focused on “…what is an acceptable amount to charge in order to preserve access to justice?..”
Today the Committee has published its report which – as was to be expected given the nature of the evidence it received – is heavily critical of the Ministry’s approach to the recent fee increases. Its headline conclusion is that major changes are urgently needed to restore an acceptable level of access to the employment tribunals (ET) system. The introduction of issue fees and hearing fees for claimants in ETs in July 2013, coincided with a drop of almost 70% in the number of cases brought. A judicial review by UNISON in connection with these increased ET fees is to be heard by the Supreme Court in due course.