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Employment tribunal fees ruled unlawful by high court - £32M in refunds

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Anyone taking bets on how long it will be before the government find another way of doing it?

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depends on how much the commentators talk up the discriminatory aspect of it rather than it (the charge) being just downright unlawful in the first place.

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And what about the people put off by the fees that had a case with a reasonable chance of success. If they are still within any time limit, then they may decide to proceed, as no fee would now be due.

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I think this is great news. It is probably reasonable to have some sort of fee, but the level of fee for simple tribunal claims was completely excessive and much higher than the fees charged by county courts for similar cases.

 

I'm sure the government will find another way of doing it though. Perhaps they might implement a sliding scale, e.g. a lower fee for smaller claims? The same way that the courts do it.


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Good result but sadly it's the taxpayer footing the bill


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We couldn't go to tribunal when my partner was unfairly dismissed because of the fees involved. Because he had been dismissed, we had no money whatsoever to pay them! There should be some recourse for people like us, there must be millions like us. We had as close to a 100% chance of success as you could get but just couldn't afford the fees

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The option to use the small claims procedure is still there in many cases but obviously not for things like working hours, discrimination etc.

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Well done Unison.

 

This was always very unfair. Now those who have already paid will be getting their money back.

 

Unison said that thousands of people had been charged for taking claims to tribunal since fees were introduced by Chris Grayling, the then Lord Chancellor

 

The Supreme Court has ruled that workplace tribunal fees are unlawful, forcing the Government to repay more than £27m forked out by employees for cases around unfair dismal, discrimination and other workplace issues since July 2013.

 

Trade union Unison said on Wednesday that thousands of people had been charged for taking claims to tribunal since fees were introduced by Chris Grayling, the then Lord Chancellor.

 

"The Government is not above the law, but when ministers introduced fees they were disregarding laws many centuries old, and showing little concern for employees seeking justice following illegal treatment at work,” Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said

 

 

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/supreme-court-employment-tribunal-fees-unlawful-plaintiffs-women-gender-uk-companies-lawyers-a7860521.html


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We couldn't go to tribunal when my partner was unfairly dismissed because of the fees involved. Because he had been dismissed, we had no money whatsoever to pay them! There should be some recourse for people like us, there must be millions like us. We had as close to a 100% chance of success as you could get but just couldn't afford the fees

 

If you contacted ACAS at that time then yes you can still go Tribunal.

 

Section 111 (2)b of the Employment Rights Act 1996 allows the excuse of Reasonable Practicable.

 

I contacted ACAS then and have now contacted them again and they advised me to put in my claim NOW.

 

So if you contacted ACAS then and have a conciliation certificate number, I believe you can still put in your claim.

 

Contact ACAS and explain to them

 

Also, contact the Employment Tribunal Office and see.

 

They usually don't give legal advice though.

 

If you didn't contact ACAS then and have no conciliation certificate, I would suggest you speak to ACAS and the Employment Tribunal Office and see.

 

Also, speak to the Citizens Advice Bureau, they usually give good advice.

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If you contacted ACAS at that time then yes you can still go Tribunal.

 

Section 111 (2)b of the Employment Rights Act 1996 allows the excuse of Reasonable Practicable.

 

I contacted ACAS then and have now contacted them again and they advised me to put in my claim NOW.

 

So if you contacted ACAS then and have a conciliation certificate number, I believe you can still put in your claim.

 

Contact ACAS and explain to them

 

Also, contact the Employment Tribunal Office and see.

 

They usually don't give legal advice though.

 

If you didn't contact ACAS then and have no conciliation certificate, I would suggest you speak to ACAS and the Employment Tribunal Office and see.

 

Also, speak to the Citizens Advice Bureau, they usually give good advice.

 

I question most of your advice.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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Also, speak to the Citizens Advice Bureau, they usually give good advice.

 

Hello and welcome to CAG. We have good advisers here too :), many of them specialists unlike a lot of CAB's volunteers.

 

HB

 

Hello Honey Bee,

 

I'm not trying to undermine the expertise of those on the Forum.

 

I just believe that the Govt might have given information(or guidelines) to the Citizens Advice Bureau and ACAS that is not available to the general public.

 

I received info from ACAS that is not available elsewhere.

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I question most of your advice.

 

I believe I gave one advice ie the one given to me by ACAS

 

Which is; if you have a conciliation certificate number then put in your claim.

 

For the other scenario, I advised the OP to seek proper advice.

 

Which one do you question?

 

I'm not a legal rep anyway and didn't claim to be one.

Edited by djames70

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CAB advice varies enormously depending on where you go and who you see. some of the volunteers are very well qualified. I know an old chap who helps out when he can and he is a retired judge but others have a quite basic training that would basically just delay things whilst they get the necessary information to pass on.

ACAS do indeed have better information but it is not privy to them, the IPD and other groups including Unions get the same briefings

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Hello Honey Bee,

 

I'm not trying to undermine the expertise of those on the Forum.

 

I just believe that the Govt might have given information(or guidelines) to the Citizens Advice Bureau and ACAS that is not available to the general public.

 

I received info from ACAS that is not available elsewhere.

Ridiculous. The only advice ACAS gives out that is not available everywhere is given by their contactt centre - and it's always wrong! Neither ACAS nor CAB (nor anyone else) gets secret information from the government.

 

We have obtained legal advice on this matter, and the advice we have received is that there is no case for submitting an out of time claim on the basis that the individual, at the time, considered that they couldn't afford it. There were terms available for people to claim set aside of fees if they were deemed unable to pay. The law is therefore not responsible for people who chose not to party because they didn't qualify for fee remission. I'm not going to enter into a debate on that, because I personally don't agree that the remission scheme was effective, nor that it provided remission for people living "on the edge". My personal opinion is not relevant. The fact is that such a scheme existed, and its existence demonstrates that nobody needed to go without making a claim, so their decision to spend money on other things was a personal choice. Therefore that is the choice they made. I don't like it. It isn't the way I see things. But we are advised that any attempt to argue otherwise in court will go all the way to the Supreme Court, is doomed to fail, and will be very expensive. And that advise came from the chambers of three of the countries top employment law barristers. And cost a great deal of money just for that!

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We did not have a choice! I was earning pennies over the earnings limit by the time we got through to actually being able to put the claim in - as in I had just started work after leaving uni I had received one wage, which wasn't even a full wage because I had started half way through a month (but my yearly salary was over the limit) and we had nothing, not one single penny (no sick pay for him at all which was also part of the claim) coming into our household for three months prior as he went on the sick three months before I started my job (I work in a profession where you need to be registered, that takes time I couldn't start work any earlier legally) we were up to our eyes in credit card debt and had borrowed from everyone possible simply to pay our rent as we were entitled to no benefits while all this was going on. we did not choose to spend our money on other things we literally did not have it to spend, my months wage wouldn't have even covered it to allow for us to claim it back so we absolutely 100% went without because of this scheme. However there is nothing we can do about it now so I guess there is no point in worrying about it.

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Believe me, I do understand. I said I didn't agree with the process. But I can't disagree with the opinion. I get why they are arguing it that way. But the problem is that in any system of benefit there is a cut off point. But there is a system. And there has to be - otherwise absolutely everyone would say that they would have gone to a tribunal but couldn't afford it. And one way or another, the majority of dismissals are legally fair. They aren't going to open flood gates and let everyone make a claim. That would bring the courts crashing down. No, it isn't fair. Life isn't.

 

TBH I don't agree with it going back to the way it was either! Free and unrestricted access wasn't a good idea either. We now live in a "sue first" society, and I know for a fact that many people made claims they knew had no validity just because they expected too get a settlement because the cost of a tribunal to an employer was more than handing out money! I even saw sites like this telling people to do exactly that! That simply finished the purpose of tribunals. I'm the last person to stand up for employers, but I do believe that systems have to be fair to everyone. We went from one extreme to the other. Personally, and I'm "old" now and have a long memory, I would prefer something more like we used to have. Legal aid for employees if they qualified (or hire your own if not, or do it yourself); the same for employers (legal aid for small employers with limited profits)... And punitive costs for taking the Michael. There has to be a way for all participants to have justice served, but not to the point where tribunals become a travesty of justice and a source of blackmail. I think that would be a purpose better served by letting judges examine the system and make recommendations - not partisan governments. The law should serve everyone, employees and employers. I'm not naive enough to think that there aren't nightmare employers out there, nor nightmare employees. It shouldn't pay to be either.

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The thing is its never going to be perfect and its people like us that suffer, those people who are always just over the earnings threshold for everything but barely have enough to get by. it just upsets me so much, we nearly lost everything because of what happened we were only just able to borrow enough to cover our rent and put everything else on credit cards but his former employer gets away scott free not having to even give him the sick pay he was entitled to, it was never about getting compensation as such to us it was about the fact that he couldn't claim benefits for six months because he should have been getting ssp and we couldn't prove he wasn't because his former employer wouldn't give us anything to say he wasn't paying it because obviously then he would have opened himself up to the tribunal going against him, it was about getting that sick pay that he was entitled to and we so desperately needed.

 

Although I do know someone who stole from his boss (a four figure sum), boss sacked him but he ended up getting compensation for unfair dismissal which obviously isn't fair either

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However there is nothing we can do about it now so I guess there is no point in worrying about it.

not having to even give him the sick pay he was entitled to

 

A claim for sick pay, notice pay and holiday pay can be brought in the county courts. The time limit for that is 6 years. Unless this money wasn't paid 6 years ago, you can still start a small claims track claim to get it.

 

Unfair dismissal claims are time barred after 3 months, but that isn't the case for claims which can be brought through the courts such as claims for unpaid wages.


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A claim for sick pay, notice pay and holiday pay can be brought in the county courts. The time limit for that is 6 years. Unless this money wasn't paid 6 years ago, you can still start a small claims track claim to get it.

 

Unfair dismissal claims are time barred after 3 months, but that isn't the case for claims which can be brought through the courts such as claims for unpaid wages.

I agree with this.

 

Instead of rehearsing what isn't fair, because I do agree, but that isn't getting us anywhere, can you please explain what actually happened? Let's try and see if we can get a result, even if it may not be everything you'd wish. Tell us what happened and give us some timescales too. We might be able to help get a little justice for you.

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We now live in a "sue first" society, and I know for a fact that many people made claims they knew had no validity just because they expected too get a settlement because the cost of a tribunal to an employer was more than handing out money!

 

"We now live in a "sue first" society"

 

This statement clearly reveals your bias and prejudice.

 

The only person who can judge if a case has no validity is a Judge who hears all the fact of the case.

 

He also has the powers to deal with such cases.

 

That statement proves the error in your reasoning ie The A Priori Argument.

 

You have a bias and you look for arguments in support of your clearly expressed bias.

 

Sorry but the truth needs to be told

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"We now live in a "sue first" society"

 

This statement clearly reveals your bias and prejudice.

 

The only person who can judge if a case has no validity is a Judge who hears all the fact of the case.

 

He also has the powers to deal with such cases.

 

That statement proves the error in your reasoning ie The A Priori Argument.

 

You have a bias and you look for arguments in support of your clearly expressed bias.

 

Sorry but the truth needs to be told

Oh yes, I really do have a bias. And if you had spent any real time on this forum, never mind this thread, you'd know what it is. You have totally misrepresented my views expressed here, and elsewhere. But that isn't a surprise. It's so much easier to have a pop at someone than have anything at all constructive to say, isn't it?

 

Sorry, but the truth needs to be told! I wonder if you'd be quite so brave about having a go at others without any justification at all if you weren't on an anonymous website?

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