The House of Common Justice Committee has published its review into Court and Tribunal Fees. Note this is not the government review which was completed in 2015 but has not been published, about which the report is deeply critical at paras 58 and 59.
These are the key findings of the report:-
- there has been a significant drop in the number of employment tribunal claims
- the government's assertion that the drop is largely attributable to the success of Acas Early Conciliation is "even on the most favourable construction, superficial" (para 69)
- fees "have had a significant adverse impact on access to justice for meritorious claims" (para 69)
- the 'type A' and 'type B' claim distinction did not relate to the complexity or length of cases (para73)
- the level of fees should be a "substantially reduced" (para 79)
- the remission system should be overhauled, with only one application needed (to cover both issue and hearing fees)
The report also recommends special consideration - and a review of the three month time limit - in pregnancy discrimination cases (para 79).
This report is embarrassing for the government, but has little political impact (especially as the timing of the report, three days before the Brexit vote, means it will receive very little press attention).