Supreme Court decision on Employment Tribunal Fees

Thursday, 03 August 2017

On 26th July 2017, the UK Supreme Court unanimously agreed that the system of employment tribunal fees, in place in the UK since 2013, is unlawful and should be abolished. The decision was informed by arguments developed by Abi Adams, an Associate Professor in the Oxford Economics Department, and Jeremias Prassl, an Associate Professor in the Oxford Faculty of Law, in a recent Modern Law Review article.

Taking up the economic arguments they proposed, which were presented as evidence before the Supreme Court in March, Lord Reed noted in his judgement that ‘no sensible person will pursue the claim’ given the incentives stacked against them [96], before turning to a stinging critique of the government’s economic case (“the higher the fee, the more effective it is” [99]: ‘it is elementary economics, and plain common sense, that the revenue derived from the supply of services is not maximised by maximising the price.’


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Abi Adams