Tribunal fees and Settlement agreements

Another week; another notable opinion on the introduction of fees in the Employment Tribunal. Recently, the Enterprise Minister, Matthew Hancock, suggested that the hefty 79% drop in employment tribunal claims since the introduction of the fee regime last year demonstrates that, in the past, the tribunal system has been “ruthlessly exploited by people seeking to make a fast buck”. He also said that “unscrupulous workers caused havoc by inundating companies with unfounded claims of mistreatment, discrimination, or worse. Like Japanese knotweed, the soaring numbers of tribunal cases dragged more and more companies into its grip, squeezing the life and energy from Britain’s wealth creators”.

Clearly his comments have attracted a lot of criticism but it seems fair to suggest that there may be a lot of employers who would agree with his sentiment. Whatever your opinion, it is clear that Tribunal fees will continue to attract comments and we shall have to see whether this, combined with legal challenges (such as they attempted Judicial Review carried out by Unison) will lead to a retraction or change to the system. As ever, we shall keep you posted.

In the meantime, Tribunal fees remain a factor when considering any settlement agreement.

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