First phase of refund scheme for tribunal fees starts

The Government is to start the first tranche of refunds to people who paid employment tribunal fees from July 2013.

The Supreme Court recently overturned legislation allowing for employment tribunal fees amid concerns that fees had led to a significant decrease in people defending their employment rights. The Government is now launching the first phase of refunds for those who have been charged.

Officials in the Ministry of Justice will be writing to an initial group of up to 1,000 people who paid fees for proceedings in the Employment Tribunals, inviting them to take part. This group will consist of people who have contacted the Ministry since the Supreme Court judgment enquiring about a refund. Those who receive a refund will also be paid interest from the date their payment was received.

For those who have paid Employment Tribunals fees, but have not been invited to take part in the initial stage, the government is setting up a pre-registration scheme so that they can register an interest in applying when the full scheme is rolled out. Those who wish to do so can register either by email at: [email protected]; or alternatively by post to the following addresses:

For proceedings in England and Wales

Employment Tribunals Central Office (England and Wales)/Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) Fees

PO Box 10218

Leicester LE1 8EG

For proceedings in Scotland

Employment Tribunals Central Office Scotland/Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) Fees

PO Box 27105

Glasgow G2 9JRX

The Government says this phase is primarily aimed at people making applications for refunds in single claims. During this period, they will also be working with the Trades Unions on how this process should be best applied to applications for refunds in larger multiple claims.

The full refund scheme will be rolled out early in November. At that point, anyone who has paid a fee in the Employment Tribunals, whether in a single or multiple claim, will be able to claim a refund.

The Government says those who will be eligible to apply for a refund under the scheme are:

  • People 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.
  • People who were ordered by the Tribunal to reimburse their opponent their fee and who can show that they have paid it.
  • Representatives (such as a Trade Union) 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.

Further guidance will be available when the scheme is rolled out.

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