How UNISON changed the law

Published August 9, 2017 at 13:50

UNISON has just won the most significant judicial intervention in the history of British employment law!

Fees for those bringing employment tribunal claims have been ruled unlawful, and the government will now have to repay up to £32m to claimants.

The government introduced fees in 2013 to reduce the number of malicious and weak cases, but that led to a 79% reduction over three years.

UNISON argued that the fees prevented workers getting access to justice.

The Supreme Court also found fees were indirectly discriminatory to women.

It ruled the government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced the fees.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This is absolutely a tremendous victory, it’s probably the biggest victory of employment rights in this country.”

Fees ranged between £390 and £1,200 to get a case heard at a hearing. Discrimination cases cost more for claimants because of the complexity and time hearings took.

The Supreme Court found this was indirectly discriminatory because a higher proportion of women would bring discrimination cases.

One of the benefits of being a UNISON member – throughout this period UNISON continued to pay the increased fee’s and support its members.

For more information about joining UNISON please contact the Branch on 01254 585220 or

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