A Government scheme to help people reclaim employment tribunal fees is now up and running. Coodes Solicitors Employment Lawyer Philip Sayers explains what this means for both employers and employees.
Over the summer the Supreme Court declared that employment tribunal fees were unlawful. At the same time, the Government announced that it would reimburse fees, now estimated to the tune of £33 million, following a successful pilot stage.
The scheme, completed by The Ministry of Justice and the HM Courts Tribunal Service, is now live and anyone who paid a tribunal fee between 29th July 2013 and 26th July 2017 is entitled to have that sum reimbursed.
How can employees claim back tribunal fees?
Claimants who lost their case and therefore did not get their money back via the employer, can claim back issue fees and hearing fees. To do this they need to complete a form and submit it to the HM Courts and Tribunals Service, either by post or online.
What do tribunal fee claims mean for employers?
Although this scheme will primarily be of concern to claimants at employment tribunals, it can also benefit employers. Most businesses who lost a case against a former employee will have had to pay for the claimant’s legal costs. Employers who have been ordered to reimburse fees to claimants can now also claim those fees back. The employer must present evidence that the payment was made to the claimant. Employers are also eligible to seek a refund if a fee has been paid to an employment tribunal and no reimbursement has been paid, or if a representative paid the fee and the employer reimbursed them. There are, however, exemptions to this, particularly where fees were dealt with as part of an agreed settlement.
Third parties, including solicitors, legal expense insurers and family members, who have also paid fees, can also reclaim them.
Businesses and employees should visit Gov.uk for more information and to make a claim. All those that successfully reclaim tribunal fees should receive a full refund along with annual interest at 0.5% calculated from the date of the original payment to the refund date.
For more information on this or any Employment enquiries contact Philip Sayers, Employment team, Coodes Solicitors on 01872 246200 or email@example.com