Taylor&Emmet welcomes free access to tribunals Taylor&Emmet LLP is hailing the recent Supreme Court ruling abolishing employment tribunal fees as a significant victory for access to justice. The firm’s employment law experts have welcomed the decision and believe there is now a window of opportunity to issue claims for free, even if they are technically out of time. Tom Draper, Taylor&Emmet’s head of employment law, said: “In normal circumstances, aggrieved employees have three months from the date of dismissal to bring a claim, however, the tribunal has the power to extend this period. I see no reason why the Supreme Court’s decision could not be used to argue the time limit should be increased because prohibitive costs prevented action being taken initially. “It is important to note this will not be an option indefinitely. The tribunal’s power to extend time limits on this basis will be restricted and potential claimants will lose the right to use this argument if they delay too long.” In a momentous ruling, the Supreme Court decreed the government’s charges for employment tribunals are unlawful. It determined they prevent access to justice and indirectly discriminate, particularly against women, who were impacted disproportionately because they are more likely to work part time. Fees of up to £1,200 were introduced four years ago to transfer part of the cost burden from the taxpayer to users of the tribunal service and reduce the number of weak or vexatious claims. Since their introduction, the number of cases has dropped by 70% and the reason most frequently cited for not taking action was the high upfront cost. Tom added: “There has been a predictable backlash against this ruling by those who think it will lead to a flood of new claims. I genuinely believe employers who follow good employment law practise and have up to date HR procedures have nothing to fear from the tribunal system and we should applaud a decision that, once again, makes justice accessible to all.” For more information, contact Taylor&Emmet’s specialist employment law solicitors on (0114) 218 4000, visit www.tayloremmet.co.uk or follow the firm on Twitter, @tayloremmet.