Employment tribunal fees could price out access for justice for those who need it most

Employment tribunal fees could diminish access to justice, the Law Society of England and Wales has warned.

The Law Society submitted its response to the Ministry of Justice’s consultation on introducing fees in the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal this week.

“Government needs to comprehensively investigate the impact that introducing employment tribunal fees would have and put in place detailed plans to ensure there is no decrease in access to justice,” said Law Society president Nick Emmerson.

“Bringing in fees introduces a potential barrier to justice. The Employment Tribunal is the place where workers get the chance to enforce their statutory rights. If they are not able to do so, they could be exploited to the detriment of themselves and of wider society.

“Before the government considers introducing a fee regime, it needs to be sure that all workers can access justice.

“Those who are most likely to be discouraged by fees are low-paid workers who face the biggest imbalance of power and resources. It is not acceptable that these people are denied the rights that Parliament has given to them. If rights cannot be enforced, they do not exist.

“More evidence is needed that those on low wages will not be negatively impacted by fees before such a regime can be introduced.”

Notes to editors

• A copy of our full consultation response is available on request to the Press Office.

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: Nick Mayo | 020 8049 4100

Maximise your Law Society membership with My LS