The CBI has attacked the government's decision to abandon plans for charging fees of up to £100 to tribunal applicants.

Deputy director-general John Cridland said: “People who take out litigation need to recognise that there is a cost to the employer and the taxpayer. Employees should share some financial responsibility.”

Cridland said without the charge to applicants it would be even more essential to find other ways of resisting abuse and avoidable use of the system in what he called “a punt for cash culture”.

But the TUC general secretary John Monks welcomed the U-turn. He said the government's decision was “a good result for the TUC's quiet diplomacy”.

The trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt is said to have abandoned the plans after research from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) showed a large number of applicants would qualify from exemption from the fee anyway.

There was also rumoured to be pressure from Downing Street to drop the plan for fees.

Tribunal claims have trebled in the last decade to 130,000 and have led to claims that a compensation culture is developing. Government figures show nearly two-thirds of tribunal applicants have not tried to resolve the dispute directly with their employer.

But the TUC said this figure had to be put into perspective. It said this was a small proportion from a workforce of 23 million.

It blamed the rise in the number of cases on the lack of effective grievance procedures in companies.