NGCAA Limited
Blog

Landmark decision made by Supreme Court on Employment Tribunal fees

On 26 July, the Supreme Court made a decision which will have an enormous impact on golf clubs and employers throughout the country.

Thursday 27th of July 2017 12:07

On 26 July, the Supreme Court made a decision which will have an enormous impact on golf clubs and employers throughout the country.

In a case brought by UNISON, the system for employees having to pay a fee in order to bring an employment tribunal claim was challenged. Unison argued that the requirement for Claimants to pay up to £250 to lodge a claim (and a further £950 in order to have a hearing) was unlawful on a variety of grounds, with the principal ground being that it denied access to justice.

The decision by the Supreme Court is likely to go down in history as one of the most significant decisions relating to the importance of employment rights and access to justice. The decision found that the fees regime was unlawful from the very start and has quashed it. The implications are that Claimants will now be able to present and continue claims without paying the issue and hearing fees, leading to an increase in the number of claims. It is notable that when the fees regime was introduced, there was a 79% decrease in the number of claims lodged. If claims return to the pre-fee levels, then the tribunals and courts could face a significant upturn in their workload.

For golf clubs, it means that even more care should be taken when dealing with employees, particularly when dismissal is contemplated, since there is a greater chance of an employee bringing a claim when there is no fee standing in the way of lodging a claim.

Urgent action will now be taken by the government to amend existing legislation and to now allow claims to proceed without fees.

A further development with the story is that the government will now refund any fees previously paid to Claimants, which is alleged to be a figure of around £27 million

For further advice on handling employment matters, particularly if it might lead to a claim, please contact NGCAA. info@ngcaa.co.uk

 

NGCAA - Legal advice and administrative support to member golf clubs