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MoJ and HMCTS announce Employment Tribunal Fee Reimbursement Scheme

24.10.2017 Employer's Issues, Issues at work

Laura Livingstone

Laura Livingstone Partner, Head of Employment

Rebecca Lynch

Rebecca Lynch Partner, Group Referrals Director

In July of this year the Supreme Court ruled that the introduction of fees in the Employment Tribunal by the Government in 2013, was unlawful and inconsistent with the principle of access to justice.

Following this decision the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said that it would ‘take immediate steps to stop charging fees in employment tribunals and put in place arrangements to refund those who have paid’.

The MoJ and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) have now published initial details of the Employment Tribunal fee reimbursement scheme.

The scheme will be implemented in phases with HMCTS firstly writing to 1,000 eligible individuals asking them to apply for reimbursement. It is anticipated that a full roll out of the scheme will take four weeks. Those who do not receive invitations from HMCTS can pre-register their interest in applying for reimbursement via email or post (details of which are on the MoJ website).

Successful reimbursement claims will also be entitled to receive interest on the fee that was paid. This will be at the rate of 0.5% and will be calculated from the date the fee was paid up until the refund date.

The government estimates that the total cost of reimbursement, including interest, will be approximately £33 million.

The Government has not yet however published details on how they intend to deal with claims which were not accepted or were dismissed for failure to pay a fee. It is also thought that the scheme will not cover claims that were never brought due to the fact that the Claimant was deterred from doing so because of the fee. It is expected that such claims will be dealt with under the normal rules governing out-of-time claims.

Please get in touch with our Employment team for more information.

Article authors:

Laura Livingstone Rebecca Lynch