In a hugely significant ruling the court has held that a claimant who could not / did not pursue a claim due to unlawful court fees should be allowed to do so.
Employment claims usually have a strict 3 month time limit, but the unlawful fees order has been in place since July 2013 meaning that we might see claims from over 4 years ago brought back before the Courts.
Is this a good idea? Is it fair to Defendant's who will likely not have retained evidence and documents in the same way? Only time will tell ...
At a tribunal in Southampton last Thursday, employment Judge Wright ruled in what the London chambers claims is the first case of a claimant successfully arguing that time should be extended because they had to pay the fees. The claimant, a Tesco employee, brought an original claim of disability and age discrimination but her application for help with fees was unsuccessful and she was required to pay an issue fee. When she failed to do so her claim was rejected. By the time she became aware of this, she was potentially out of time to lodge a fresh claim. The claimant had only had her first claim rejected because of the obligation to pay unlawful fees, this ought to justify a ‘just and equitable’ extension of time under the Equalty Act 2010. Judge Wright agreed and granted the extension.