Issue date
26 Jul 2017

Today (Wednesday 26 July 2017), the Supreme Court has decided that the decision to impose fees for workers to bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal was unlawful and therefore should be quashed.

The case was brought by the UNISON trade union, who successfully argued that the decision to introduce the fees interfered unjustifiably with the right of access to justice.

South West TUC Regional Secretary, Nigel Costley said:

“This is a massive win for working people. Huge congratulations to UNISON for doggedly pursuing this case to bring justice for all workers up and down the country. It really shows the value of working people standing together in trade unions.

For too long, low and even middle paid workers simply could not afford to uphold their rights at work, whether it was harassment, discrimination or simply not being paid. And in a climate of increasing insecure work contracts and bad bosses taking advantage of workers’ inability to seek redress, this decision has come at the right time.

Any fees paid so far should be refunded as soon as possible. Today's ruling found the introduction of the fees was not just simply unreasonable or taken without relevant consideration, rather the Court rightly found the Government had acted unlawfully.”

para 119 - SC ruling by Lord Reed