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Employment Tribunal Fees

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According to an article in today’s Times newspaper (£), the Ministry of Justice has written to the Law Commission inviting it to “provide recommendations for creating a coherent system for charging and updating fees in the future”.

Fees were abolished in July 2017 following the Supreme Court’s decision in R (on the application of Unison) v Lord Chancellor. You will see I predicted, in that case summary, that the government was likely to try to introduce a new fees regime, with fees at a lower level and/or involving a fee payable by the employer when the employer lodges its ET3.

The Law Commission is an independent body whose purpose is to review the law of England & Wales and recommend reform where needed. It consults extensively before issuing reports.

It is entirely possible that if the government is determined, we could see a new employment tribunal fees regime introduced in as soon as the next 18-24 months.  A cynic might suggest the government is seeking recommendations from the Law Commission to provide a safety net before the courts in the event of any future challenge to the legality of fees, if they are reintroduced by way of statutory instrument. Of course, with its substantial majority, the Government could introduce fees by way of primary legislation and thus avoid scrutiny by the courts.