3 September 2015
The Scottish government has announced plans to abolish employment tribunal fees.
The Scottish government has published “A Stronger Scotland: The Government’s Programme for Scotland 2015-16”. In the document, the government pledges to abolish tribunal fees. It says:
“We will take the first steps to delivery of a new social security system and abolish the bedroom tax as soon as we have the power to do so. We will reduce Air Passenger Duty – boosting connectivity and supporting businesses. And we will abolish fees for employment tribunals – ensuring that employees have a fair opportunity to have their case heard”.
With regards to a time frame, the document states; “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 for Employment Tribunals to Scotland”.
The Scottish government is currently in talks with Westminster over the contents of the Scottish Bill, which will devolve more powers to Scotland.
The announcement follows calls for the abolition of fees from a wide range of organisations, including Citizens Advice Scotland. The Law Society of Scotland branded fees “a major barrier to justice”.
Employment tribunal fees were introduced in July 2013, and triggered a drop in claims of 79 percent in the first year.
More information on employment tribunal fees is available here.