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Scotland to Abolish Employment Tribunal Fees

Following a number of UK-wide legal challenges, the Scottish Government announced its intention to abolish employment tribunal fees in Scotland.

In a Scottish Government dossier titled “A Stronger Scotland”, the government announced their intention stating: “We will abolish fees for employment tribunals, when we are clear on how the transfer of powers and responsibilities will work.

“We will consult on the shape of services that can best support people’s access to employment justice as part of the transfer of the powers of Employment Tribunals to Scotland.”

Despite the intentions of the Scottish government, the deal relies on the transfer of certain powers that in turn would allow the Scottish government to scrap a policy that has been heavily criticised since its introduction by Westminster.

Employment Tribunals

Fees were attached to employment tribunals in July 2013 in an attempt to ease the backlog that had hindered many courts as well as acting as a deterrent to any fraudulent claims that may emerge. Under the new changes brought in by the UK government, applicants wishing to hold an employment tribunal must pay £160 to lodge a claim with an additional £230 to obtain a hearing, even for the most basic of claims. More complex claims are £250 to lodge and £950 for a hearing.

Criticism and Potential Abolition of Employment Tribunal Fees

Despite the introduction of the fees, many groups have been outspoken about the introduction with Citizens Advice Scotland calling for any sort of fee to be scrapped. Last month, trade union Unison lost their third appeal against the tribunal fees was dismissed by the Court of Appeal. Groups such as Unison and Citizens Advice Scotland have called the introduction of such fees “a barrier to justice”. According to figures from the TUC, the number of employment tribunals has fallen by 79% with the organisation stating that there is “no obvious explanation, other than the introduction of fees”.

The Scottish government stated that by scrapping such fees  “We will create a fairer country. We will promote a proper living wage, fair work and use new powers to improve the welfare system, mitigating some of the worst impacts of the UK Government’s cuts.”

Employment Tribunals

If you have suffered some sort of discrimination, harassment or been mistreated in the workplace, you have the right to make a claim for compensation. Many people suffer mistreatment in work through no fault of their own with maternity/paternity leave being one of the main reasons that some people are overlooked for a promotion or demoted. We understand that taking legal action can be daunting, especially if it is against your employer, however, if you are threatened with losing your job or dismissed then you will be able to cite an unfair dismissal.

Contact Us

Our team of specialist employment lawyers will inform you of exactly what you need to make a successful claim and what action you could take if needed. If you require legal advice or representation regarding a settlement agreement, an employment tribunal or any other aspect of employment law, contact our team of Aberdeen-based personal injury lawyers today using our online contact form.

 

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