Court of Appeal judgment on employment tribunal fees judicial review

by Laurie Anstis on August 26, 2015

The Court of Appeal has today issued its judgment in the employment tribunal fees judicial review.

Whilst “troubled” by the sharp decline in employment tribunal claims, Underhill LJ held that:

“the case based on the overall decline in claims cannot succeed by itself. It needs to be accompanied by evidence of the actual affordability of the fees in the financial circumstances of (typical) individuals. Only evidence of this character will enable the Court to reach a reliable conclusion that that the fees payable under the Order will indeed be realistically unaffordable in some cases.” Read the rest of this entry »

Government review of employment tribunal fees announced

by Laurie Anstis on June 11, 2015

The government has today announced its long-awaited review of employment tribunal fees.

The detailed terms of reference set out what the review is to look at, concluding that the review will “make recommendations for any changes to the structure and level of fees for proceedings in the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeals Tribunal”.

Interestingly, this is also to include “recommendations for streamlining procedures to reduce costs”. It isn’t clear whether this is meant to be streamlining procedures only in relation to fees, or whether this means that the review may have a wider remit to reform employment tribunal procedures.

The review is expected to be completed “later this year”. In the meantime, the Unison judicial review application in respect of the current fee regime will be heard by the Court of Appeal later this month.

Employment law in the general election

by Laurie Anstis on April 15, 2015

This week has seen the publication of most of the party manifestos for the general election.

Sean Jones QC, writing on the Hard Labour blog, has prepared a table setting out the proposals of the main parties in England for changes to employment law.

Employment tribunal decision in Lock v British Gas published

by Laurie Anstis on March 25, 2015

Following the decision of the ECJ in Lock v British Gas, the case returned to the employment tribunal on 4 & 5 February 2015 for consideration of how the ECJ’s decision should be applied.

The resulting employment tribunal judgment has now been published by Unison, who represented the successful claimants. Read the rest of this entry »

Does the Simmons v Castle 10% uplift apply to employment tribunal awards for injury to feelings?

by Laurie Anstis on February 27, 2015

As part of the Jackson reforms of civil litigation, in October 2012 the Court of Appeal announced in the case of Simmons v Castle that awards of general damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity were to be increased by 10%.

At the time I suggested that this could also apply to employment tribunal awards for injury to feelings, and thereby raise the so-called “Vento bands“. The Court of Appeal later revised their judgment, and it seemed to me that this revision made it even more likely that the judgment applied in the employment tribunal.

Since then, the Presidential Guidance on case management issued last year took it as uncontentious that the judgment applied (“remedy”, para 14), and the EAT has held: Read the rest of this entry »