The Supreme Court have ruled this morning that the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees in 2013 was in fact unlawful and blocked access to justice for tens of thousands of people over the course of the last 4 years.
The judgment, which is the single biggest intervention by the courts in Government policy in recent memory, will come as a shock to many in parliament who were convinced that the accompanying “remission scheme” would circumnavigate any access to judgment argument.
In its judgment the Supreme Court stated that the implementation of the Fees Order in 2013 was against both domestic and EU law in that it blocked access to justice. The Supreme Court also found that the fees were indirectly discriminatory towards women who are more likely to bring a “type B” claim in instances such as sex or pregnancy discrimination.
The Lord Chancellor has undertaken to reimburse all Employment tribunal fees already paid by claimants since their introduction in 2013.