EMPLOYMENT lawyer Sally Morris, from Ludlow firm mfg Solicitors, has said the historic Supreme Court decision which has ruled that employment tribunal fees are unlawful is one of the biggest in the history of employment law.

The ruling will give people fairer access to justice – with the government now having to pay £32m back to claimants, and some employers, following a challenge by trade union Unison.

Charges were introduced in the summer of 2013 – starting at £160 and increasing to £1,200 if further hearings were required. It is a decision which led to a 79 per cent reduction in cases in three years and a large drop in false claims.

It may, however, have also been a decision which put the brakes on thousands of people making legitimate claims if they could not afford the fees, according to Ms Morris, a partner at the Corve Street-based firm mfg Solicitors.

“This huge decision now means that tribunal arrangements could go back to where they started,” said Sally Morris.

“Those who were put off taking their employer to an employment tribunal because of the fee regime may now choose to do so without the expense of fees hanging over them. It is likely to open the floodgates to more claims in the coming months.”

“Overall, it is clear that the ramifications could go well beyond the employment law arena and it is vital that businesses and individuals in the Ludlow area seek professional advice on what the ruling could mean for them.”

As part of the ruling, the Supreme Court also found fees were indirectly discriminatory to women with females disproportionately affected.