Trade union Unison has been granted a judicial review in October to challenge the introduction of fees of up to £1,200 for claimants taking on employers in tribunals.
Under employment law changes which came into force on 29 July, claimants will have to pay up to £250 for an issue fee and up to £950 as a hearing fee. The fees may be waived for those who can demonstrate their inability to pay.
The Ministry of Justice claims the changes will save £10m a year. Employment lawyers have suggested the changes could lead to a 25% fall in the number of cases.
Kerry Underwood, partner at Underwoods Solicitors, said: ‘Of all the reforms attacking the rights of ordinary people, this is the most damaging.’ He said the moves could harm industrial relations and lead to an increase in wildcat strikes.
Justice minister Helen Grant said taxpayers should not have to foot the £74m bill for workplace disputes. ‘We want people, where they can afford to do so, to pay a contribution,’ she said.