The Government and Ministry of Justice have now revealed the first details of how individuals who paid Employment Tribunal fees between 29 July 2013 and 26 July 2017 may apply for a refund. This is after the recent landmark decision of the Supreme Court against the Government that the fees charged by the Tribunal were “unlawful”.
The Supreme Court judges stated that whilst court fees paid by litigants can, in principle, be a justifiable way of making resources available for the justice system the (now obsolete) regime was indirectly discriminatory towards women whilst simultaneously blocking access to justice.
In response to this judgement the Government has now finally announced the first details of how it plans to pay these refunds. The Government has proposed to roll out a refund scheme to an initial group of 1000 individuals. These select individuals were notified on 20 October 2017. In the next few weeks the full scheme will be opened up to everyone else who paid Tribunal fees.
In addition to obtaining a full refund of all fees paid, the successful applicants will also receive interest on the total amount of 0.5% from the date the fee was paid to the date of the refund.
For those not in the initial pilot group a pre-registration scheme is being set up to allow those who may be eligible for a refund to register their interest when the full scheme is rolled out. Those who wish to register for this scheme can register by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or alternatively by post to the following address:
Employment Tribunal Central Office (England and Wales)/Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) Fees
PO Box 10218
It still remains unclear precisely what the refund application will involve but it is encouraging to see that a process for refunds is now well under way.