Historic win for UK workers as judges rule Tory tribunal fees unlawful

UNI affiliate and one of the UK’s largest trade unions, Unison, has claimed a massive victory after a four-year battle against the Tory imposition of fees for employment tribunals.

The supreme court unanimously ruled that the government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally by imposing fees on any employees wishing to take their employer to court over discrimination, unfair practices or unscrupulous behaviour. Under this legislation, employees seeking to press a case against their employer in England, Scotland or Wales, have to find as much as 1200 pounds in order to proceed with their grievances. The fees, introduced by Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling in 2013, have since proved a huge obstruction to any employee wishing to pursue a case against their employer.

General Secretary of Unison, Dave Prentis said, “This is a tremendous victory for employees everywhere. It is an historic decision which will set the scene for years to come. Unison took the case on behalf of anyone who’s ever been wronged at work, or who might be in future. Crooked employers no longer have the upper hand.”

“This ruling proves that the government have acted illegally, against the common laws of our country and our parliamentary legislation. The government has disregarded laws many centuries old, showing little concern for employees and have been proved wrong – not just on simple economics, but on constitutional law and basic fairness too.”

General Secretary of UNI Global Union Philip Jennings said, “This is a stunning triumph for workers and trade unions. Insecure work is one of the key characteristics of the UK labour market, with over 1 in 10 workers considered as ‘insecure workers’. The floor of workers’ rights has been ebbing away, including justice being priced out for those seeking legal recourse against their employers.”

These trends were highlighted in a recent TUC report on insecure work which also called for the abolition of employment tribunal fees as a step in the right direction to eliminating unfair, insecure and discriminatory employment practices which you can read by clicking on the image below.

“Our UNI World Congress in Liverpool is just under a year away and we will be looking closely at the employment realities in the UK and how unions are fighting back. This Unison victory shows the way.”