MPs want cheaper employment tribunal fees

A group of MPs want the government to review the effectiveness of increased employment tribunal fees

A collection of British MPs are calling for a reduction in employment tribunal fees as they prevent many deserving cases from being heard due to a lack of finance.

The House of Commons Justice Committee has said that employment tribunal fees cause a “‘significant adverse impact” on employment law justice for some people across the United Kingdom.

For this reason, the committee and a group of MPs would like the government to “substantially reduce” the fees so that those wanting to seek justice for an employment law grievance have the chance to do so without incurring unbearable costs.

According to the figures, since the introduction of employment law tribunal fees in July 2013, there has been a 70% decrease in the number of cases being brought before the employment tribunal.

When the figures for the first three months of 2013 are compared with the first three months of 2015, equal pay cases  seem to have fallen by 58% and sex discrimination cases to have fallen by 68%.

A review of the increased employment tribunal fees should already have been presented by the Ministry of Justice. However, six months later, no review has been carried out and the group of MPs say that this is simply “unacceptable”.

The group, which includes MPs from multiple political parties, is calling for the Ministry of Justice to:

  • Increase the fee remission limit,
  • To decrease the fees for immigrants and asylum seekers,
  • To revoke the divorce and civil partnership fee increase (now £550),
  • And to offer more support to women with maternity and pregnancy claims.

Committee Chair Bob Neill, one of the MPs fighting against the fee increase, commented on the issue: “Where there is conflict between the objectives of achieving full cost recovery and preserving access to justice, the latter must prevail.”

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