Scottish employment tribunal fees reduction on cards following devolution, says Eversheds

Simon Tytherleigh, partner at Eversheds, has commented on the recent announcement by the Smith Commission that control of the employment tribunal system in Scotland is to be devolved.

He said: ‘Once control of the employment tribunals system is devolved, one of the first issues the Scottish government will want to look at is employment tribunal fees. Since fees were introduced across the employment tribunal system last year, they have led to a sustained and significant reduction in claim numbers, and many commentators, including from within the SNP, have criticised the Westminster government for setting the level of fees too high.’

In the run-up to the independence vote, Tytherleigh added, the SNP promised that independence would lead to a ‘constructive dialogue’ on access to employment tribunals. ‘This suggests that complete abolition of the fees regime in Scotland is unlikely,’ he said. ‘However, a significant reduction in fee levels is likely to be on the cards, although we shouldn’t expect to see any changes before 2016.’