Fees order quashed – Unison’s JR Challenge upheld

27th July 2017

On 26th July, the Supreme Court released its judgment in R (on the application of Unison) v Lord Chancellor [2017] UKSC 51. The Supreme Court allowed the appeal and unanimously held that the Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013, SI 2013/1893 was unlawful under both domestic and EU law principally because it had the effect of preventing access to justice.

The Court also held that the provisions were discriminatory because the higher fees for type B claims (e.g. discrimination claims under the Equality Act 2010) put women at a particular disadvantage because a higher proportion of women bring type B than type A claims.

The Court therefore quashed the Fees order with immediate effect.  A copy of the judgment is available at https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2015-0233-judgment.pdf

Following the judgment the Government announced that all claimants who had paid fees to the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal would be reimbursed. The cost to the Government is put at between £30-35 million.

If you have any queries arising from the judgment or generally about employment law then please contact a member of the Employment Team at Five Paper for a concise and prompt response.