Unison is continuing its challenge to the introduction of tribunal fees by way of a Judicial review. During the hearing (16 & 17 June), it argued that the “dramatic drop” in claims had “no obvious explanation, other than the introduction of fees”.
Unison also claimed that the higher fee to issue a discrimination complaint is “intrinsically likely to disadvantage women” – the number of equal pay claims fell 83% after the introduction of fees, while sex discrimination claims fell by 91% in the first quarter of 2014. The Ministry of Justice acknowledged that there had been a drop in the number of claims. However, it also argued that this does not explain why individuals are not bringing claims. It suggested, for example, that factors such as mandatory early conciliation via Acas may be playing a part.
No judgment was given at the end of the hearing and it was suggested that it may “take some time” to issue a decision given the “interesting and difficult” points that had been raised.
Source: Personnel Today 18.06.15