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Citizens Advice responds to Supreme Court ruling on Employment Tribunal fees

Citizens Advice has responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling this morning that fees for Employment Tribunals are unlawful. The national charity called on government to act swiftly to suspend the fees system and ensure all of those who are out of pocket after paying fees get their money back.

In the last year Citizens Advice has helped people with almost 350,000 employment issues. The charity helped people with 72,5000 issues around pay and entitlements and 17,500 enquiries about Employment Tribunals and appeals.

One woman came to Citizens Advice for help because she was owed £330 by her employer for unpaid wages. She asked her boss for the money, but when they refused she decided not to take the case to Employment Tribunal as the fees would add up to £390 - more than what she was owed.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“This landmark ruling should mark an end to Employment Tribunal fees standing in the way of people upholding their employment rights.

“People’s employment rights are only as good as their ability to enforce them. Employment Tribunal fees have prevented people from getting justice when they’ve been treated unfairly at work. We hope the government acts swiftly to suspend the fees system and ensure all of those who are out of pocket get their money back.

“Employment Tribunal fees have been a huge barrier to justice, but they are not the only challenge people face. What your rights are, and how to go about getting redress without resorting to an Employment Tribunal remains a very complicated picture, which is why we’re calling on the government to create a single Fair Work Authority to make it easier for people to get the rights they’re entitled to by clamping down on unlawful business practice.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.
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