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Tribunal fees refund scheme commences

View profile for Kathryn Pickard
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Further to the Supreme Court’s decision in July 2017 that the Employment Tribunal (‘ET’) fees regime was unlawful, and the immediate abolition of the fees, the Government launched the opening stage of its ET fee refund scheme last week.  

Apparently approximately 1,000 individuals will be contacted as part of this first round and given the option of completing applications for fee refunds in advance of the full scheme being launched.  This group consists of those who had contacted the Ministry of Justice directly since the Supreme Court’s decision was announced, enquiring about refunds.  At present, the scheme is aimed at individuals who paid ET fees in individual claims; but the Government says it is working with trade unions to decide how the process should be applied to refunds in multiple claims.

Those eligible to apply under the scheme are:

  1. those who paid a fee directly to the ET or Employment Appeal Tribunal and who have not been reimbursed that fee by their opponent pursuant to a tribunal order;
  2. those who were ordered by the tribunal to reimburse their opponent their fee;
  3. representatives who paid a fee on behalf of another and who have not been reimbursed by that person; and
  4. the lead claimant in a multiple claim who paid a fee on behalf of the other claimants.

Successful applicants under the scheme will be paid interest at the rate of 0.5% on the refunded amount; calculated from their original payment date up to the point of refund. 

The Government has revealed that the estimated cost of its refunding ET fees, together with interest, is £33 million.

Full details of the refund scheme and the method for application should be published in the coming weeks; but there is a pre-registration arrangement now in place to enable affected Claimants to register their interest (most simply via email to ethelpwithfees@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk).  Contact the team if we can help with ET fee refunds or tribunal claims generally.

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