The Supreme Court held that the Employment Tribunal fees which had been charged to bring a claim were unlawful. As a result, the Government must refund fees to a large number of claimants who have brought claims in the Employment Tribunal in the last four years.
An initial scheme was rolled out for 1,000 eligible claimants. The scheme has now been rolled out fully. Claimants and respondents can make a claim for a refund. Those who have been ordered to pay the fees of the other party can also claim for a refund.
At the moment the scheme does not include those people who have been put off bringing a claim due to the prohibitively high tribunal fees payable or claims which were rejected or dismissed for non-payment of fees.
Applicants can apply on line, by post or email. If successful, an applicant will secure a refund plus interest at a rate of 0.5%.
The Government has reversed its decision not to contact potential claimants directly. The Justice Secretary has confirmed that: ‘We are therefore writing over the next few months to everyone who paid an ET fee, but who has not yet applied for a refund, to raise awareness of the existence of the scheme, and providing details on how to apply’
The first letters were sent out in early April 2018.
The fees were introduced in July 2013 but were challenged by the trades unions and the Supreme Court declared the fees unlawful at the end of 2017.
The fees started at about £160 and increased to between £230 and £950 for further hearings. For certain claims, claimants had to pay up to £1,200.
To discuss any employment or Tribunal fees related matter, contact us.