Workers taking their employers to a tribunal will no longer have to pay fees, the Supreme Court has ruled.
According to the BBC , the Government will have to repay up to £32 million to claimants after the court ruled the fees were unlawful.
The Government introduced the costs in 2013, leading to a 79% reduction over three years in the cases brought forward.
Trade union Unison launched the legal challenge, arguing that the fees were preventing workers from getting justice. Charges ranged from £390 to £1,200, depending on the complexity of the case.
The Financial Times reported that the Supreme Court unanimously found that the fees system should be cancelled with immediate effect, and said the charges prevented access to justice and breached both UK and EU law during the ruling on Wednesday, July 26.
Unison general secretary, Dave Prentis, said the result was a “massive win for all workers”.
He said: “Today, the Supreme Court has righted a terrible wrong and sided with those the Government sought to silence.
“We will never know how many people were stopped from taking legal cases as a result of employment tribunal fees. We will never know how many people have been denied access to justice and to legal recourse. Their stories may remain untold and their rights unprotected.
“Likewise, there are those who have been forced to pay employment tribunal fees who will now demand the fees are returned to them. We will work with them to ensure the Government cough up and admit they were wrong - legally and morally.
“Today’s result should bring to an end the cruel employment tribunal fees regime, and ensure that no-one else is ever forced to pay crippling fees just to access basic justice.”
The Ministry of Justice has confirmed it would take immediate steps to end the charges and refund payments.
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