Employment tribunal fee refund scheme now open for applications
People who have paid fees to bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal can now start applying to get their money back.
The refund scheme was introduced by the government after the Supreme Court ruled the charges for bringing a claim were unlawful.
The fee system was introduced in 2013, with employees having to pay up to £1,200. Following a challenge by the union Unison, the Supreme Court ruled that the fees were discriminatory, unlawful and unconstitutional.
The government has tested the refund process by contacting up to 1,000 people who had paid to bring claims. Now, anyone who feels they are eligible for a refund can make an application. Further details are available at https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunals/refund-tribunal-fees.
As well as being refunded their original fee, successful applicants will also be paid interest of 0.5%, calculated from the date of the original payment up until the refund date.
In a statement on the issue of fees, the Ministry of Justice said: “The Supreme Court judgment noted that ‘fees paid by litigants can, in principle, reasonably be considered to be a justifiable way of making resources available for the justice system and so securing access to justice’. The court ruled, however, that we hadn’t set the fee at the right level to deliver that outcome.”
Please contact Jackie Cuneen if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.