News & Views

A fee free Scotland?

BY Anita Mulholland
Employment law
BG Purple

The Scottish Government have declared plans to scrap employment tribunal fees under powers set to be transferred from Westminster. 

The tribunal fees have been subject to much scrutiny and controversy since July 2013 when the cost was first introduced to claimants who wished to raise an employment claim. 

Currently, claimants must pay £160- £250 to raise a claim and £230 - £950 for a hearing, depending on the type of claim being raised.

The Scottish Government believes that abolishing employment tribunal fees will allow employees to have a fair opportunity to have their case heard. The programme, A stronger Scotland – the Government’s programme for Scotland 2015-2016, 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”. 

Presently, the Scottish Bill is being negotiated between the Scottish Government and Westminster, which will transfer powers to Scotland.

The move has been welcomed by the Law Society of Scotland, Citizens Advice Scotland, unions, and many within the legal profession who claim that it will allow for fairness at work and access to justice.

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