The Government is proposing to reintroduce fees for issuing claims in the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal. There will, however, be a consultation before any decision is made. If fees are implemented, these will become payable for all claims issued on or after 1 November 2024. The proposed fee is £55 per case or appeal payable by the Claimant. By court standards, this is a modest fee.

The Government’s previous attempt to introduce fees was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2017 ruling they were unlawful in the case of R (on the application of Unison) -v- Lord Chancellor. The level of fees which applied from 2013 was so excessive resulting in a substantial drop in Tribunal claims which, the SC ruled, ‘effectively prevents access to justice and is therefore unlawful’. Following the SC decision, fees were abolished and refunds were paid to all claimants who had paid the fees from 2013 to 2017. However, the SC decision did not rule out fees completely provided they were set at a reasonable level.

The Government’s current aim of reintroducing fees in 2024 is for users to contribute to costs in the tribunals, incentivise parties to settle their disputes early and to alleviate some of the pressures the tribunals are currently facing.

As the new proposed fee of £55 is low by court standards and there will be an exemption scheme for those unable to afford it, they are unlikely to be subject to any successful legal challenge.


Given the modest level and exemption scheme, the fees are likely to be introduced in November. They may make some impact on spurious claims but it is unlikely to make a significant difference.  Once introduced the fees will doubtless increase over time.

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