Scotland to Abolish Employment Tribunal Fees

04 September 2015

In the recently published Programme for Scotland 2015-16, the Scottish Government has announced their intention to abolish fees for employment tribunals to ensure that employees have a fair opportunity to have their case heard.

The publication ‘A Stronger Scotland: The Government's Programme for Scotland 2015-16' does not state when they intend to abolish the fees but does say that they will be consulting 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.

In July 2015 the Scottish Government published proposals for devolution beyond the Smith Commission recommendations that would provide a coherent package of powers to boost competitiveness and tackle inequality.

These included business and employment taxation, employment rights including the National Minimum Wage, and the social security system.

Short of independence, the Scottish Government’s preferred approach is full fiscal autonomy. They are continuing discussions with the UK Government to secure changes to the Scotland Bill both to meet the Smith Commission recommendations in full and beyond. They state that their aim is to secure a Bill, and an accompanying fair financial agreement with the UK Government, that it can recommend to the Scottish Parliament.

CIPP comment

The Scottish Rate of Income Tax is due to be announced in November and in the interim we shall be closely monitoring developments as the Scotland Bill and associated amendments make their way through parliamentary scrutiny.