2 August 2017

On 26 July, the Supreme Court ruled that employment tribunal fees are unlawful, with the Ministry of Justice taking “immediate steps” to stop fees being charged. The NHBF warned that salon and barbershop business owners can expect to see a rise in employment law cases against them as a result.

Thousands of individuals who have paid to take employers to tribunal since the fees were introduced in 2013, are set to receive refunds costing the government more than £27 million. The Court held that the government was acting unlawfully under both UK and EU law, with the fees having the effect of preventing access to justice.

Previous reduction of employment law cases

The aim of the fees was to transfer the cost of the tribunal system from taxpayers to those who actually use the service, to put people off from making unworthy claims, and to promote earlier settlement of disputes. After the introduction of fees, it has been widely reported that the act resulted in a dramatic fall in the number of cases being brought before Employment Tribunals.

The NHBF’s view on employment tribunal fees

NHBF chief executive, Hilary Hall commented: “The number of employment law cases going to tribunal will definitely rise, so it’s more important than ever to have a proper contract of employment and a staff handbook in place, to stick to what they say, and to take advice on HR issues.  NHBF members are protected against employment tribunals with free legal expenses insurance, backed with free round the clock employment law advice."