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Practice made perfect


By Stephen Smith, Employment Lawyer

ANYONE who wants to make a claim at the Employment Tribunal from 29th July will still have to pay at least £160.

The new fees will be introduced despite legal challenges to these in the higher courts in both Scotland and England.

When Employment Tribunals were originally introduced, they were designed to be free, open and accessible to all to enforce employment rights.

But last year the coalition Government brought in fees of £160 or £250 before a claim is accepted, and either £230 or £950 to have a hearing.

Last month, the union Unison announced its intention to challenge the introduction of fees by asking the English High Court to conduct a judicial review into the matter.

Scottish Law Firm’s Attempt to Block the New Employment Tribunal Regime

And earlier this month a Scottish law firm went to the Court of Session in Edinburgh to block the introduction of the new regime, on the basis the law which introduced this is flawed.

Their application was rejected by a Judge, but only after the UK Government agreed to reimburse fees if a later hearing in October finds fault with them.

The Government argues the fees will encourage businesses and employees to find alternative ways of resolving their disputes, such as mediation, with the Tribunal becoming a last resort.

However, as the fees are to be met by Claimants rather than Respondents, it is likely that many employers will simply do nothing to settle cases but instead wait to see if the employee is prepared to pay the fee, before they consider settlement.

Contact our Employment Tribunal Solicitors in Glasgow

*The Glasgow Law Practice has expertise on claims and can advise on whether fees will be charged. Complete our online enquiry form here or contact Stephen directly at