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Employment tribunal fees are blocking access to justice

1 February 2017

Employment tribunal fees are having a chilling effect on the number of people able to bring their case before the justice system, the Law Society said today in response to the government's long-awaited review of the impact of the fees.

Law Society president Robert Bourns said: "The minister asserts there is 'no evidence to suggest' the fees are limiting access to justice - but the evidence in his own report suggests that tens of thousands of people are slipping through the cracks.

"The truth is employment tribunal fees have had a chilling effect on the number of people able or willing to bring a case against their employer.

"Particularly affected are claims in areas such as sexual discrimination and equal pay - and the reduction in tribunal cases is not offset by the increase in people using ACAS' early conciliation service. Solicitors working in this area also report that the reduced number of claims has altered the behaviour of employers and we will address this concern in our consultation response.

"No matter who you are, everyone in England and Wales must be able to access the justice system. It is a public good which should not be used to generate revenue. If these fundamental principles are not followed, we risk squandering years of progress and damaging the reputation of England and Wales as one of the fairest justice systems in the world."


Notes to editors

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact: Harriet Beaumont | +44 (0)20 7320 5830