Posted by Richard White, Partner
Opening stage of employment tribunal fee refund scheme launched
Employers are by now aware of the Supreme Court’s judgment of 26 July 2017, which declared employment tribunal fees unlawful. However, the Government’s plan to repay all Employment Tribunal and Appeal Employment Tribunal fees since their introduction in 2013 has remained unreported until now.
Last Friday, 20 October 2017, the Government launched “the first phase” of the circa £32m tribunal fee refund scheme. A press release from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and HM Courts & Tribunals Service stated that from this week, up to around 1,000 people will be contacted individually and given the chance to apply for a refund before the full scheme is opened up in the coming weeks. This opening phase is expected to last around four weeks.
The press release goes on to clarify that successful applicants will be paid interest of 0.5%, calculated from the date of the original fee payment up until the refund date.
Justice Minister, Dominic Raab states that the four-week phase will try to ensure that the refund scheme works “efficiently and effectively.”
What about those not involved in this opening phase?
For those who paid the fees, but have not been invited to take part in the initial refund stage, there is an online or postal pre-registration scheme, allowing individuals to register their interest in applying when the full scheme is rolled out.
The contact details for registering interest are:
Employment Tribunal Central Office (England and Wales)/Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) Fees
PO Box 10218
Leicester LE1 8EG
The Government has said that it will be working with trade unions in relation to how the process should be applied to applications in larger multiple claims.
Quick note on eligibility
Those who will be eligible to apply for a full refund under the scheme are:
- employees who paid a fee directly to the employment tribunal or employment appeal tribunal and have not been reimbursed by their opponent pursuant to an order of the tribunal
- individuals who were ordered by the tribunal to reimburse their opponent their fee, and who can show that they have paid it
- representatives who paid a fee on behalf of another person and have not been reimbursed by that person
- the lead claimant (or representative) in a multiple claim who paid a fee on behalf of the other claimants.
The pilot scheme for Employment Tribunal Fee Refunds has now come to an end, and the Refund Scheme has now opened to any individual who paid fees in respect of a tribunal claim (or appeal) since fees were introduced in July 2013.
Anyone who paid a fee can apply for a refund online, or use one of the following forms to apply by post or email:
Form 1-C – This is relied on where the claimant paid the tribunal fee and made the claim.
Form 3-S – This is relied on where the fees were paid by someone else on behalf of the Claimant, for example by a lawyer, or trade union.
Form 2-R – This is relied on where the respondent was ordered to pay the Claimant’s tribunal fee.
For more advice and guidance on Employment Tribunal fees, or any other employment law advice please contact our specialist Employment & HR team on:
0800 051 8054 Email us
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