Multiple reviews of UK employment tribunal fees could heighten demand for fees control in Scotland, according to Eversheds.
Question marks over the future of employment tribunal fees continue apace this month as they fall under several spotlights at once. But which review will be the guiding one? Michael Burns, partner at law firm Eversheds, comments:“Two years since the introduction of employment tribunal fees, it seems we are to have not one but three reviews, almost concurrently.
“In ongoing legal proceedings brought by UNISON, the Court of Appeal is once more being called upon to consider whether the fees act as a barrier to justice and are accordingly unlawful. At the same time, the Government has announced the launch of its own review, the outcome of which may be available in the autumn. And today we hear that Labour leadership candidate, Andy Burnham, will announce a separate review into replacing the current fees system.
“Although the election has delivered a Conservative government, with deregulation high on its agenda, even some employer groups have acknowledged that the current level of fees is too high. Pressure does appear to be mounting, therefore, for some relaxation of the deterrent effect of the fees, whether through a reduction in their level or through the remission scheme -or both. It will be interesting to see what emerges from the respective reviews and then what the Government opts to do.”
“There may be yet another influencing factor on that decision for the Government since they will know that, if fees are not reduced, the SNP is more likely to press for control over tribunal fees in Scotland to be passed to the Scottish Parliament as part of the further devolution plans.”