£33 million tribunal fees refund scheme announced

The Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service have now launched the employment tribunal fee reimbursement scheme. Full roll-out of the scheme is expected shortly. The government estimates that the total repayment cost will be £33 million.

In July this year, the Supreme Court held that the claim and hearings fees introduced in employment tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal in 2013, were unlawful. While the requirement to pay a fee was immediately lifted, it was unclear how and when those who had paid fees in the previous four years would be reimbursed.

Successful applicants will receive repayment of the fees paid, plus interest at 0.5% from the date of payment to the refund. Initially, 1000 payers are invited to register for reimbursement, but others are invited to pre-register for reimbursement.

Real living wage rises with cost of living

The Living Wage Foundation has announced a rise in the true Living Wage to £8.75 per hour across the UK and £10.20 per hour in London. This figure is calculated according the cost of living, based on a basket of household goods and services.

Unlike the legally required minimum of the National Living Wage (which is currently £7.50 per hour for all workers aged 25 or over), the Living Wage Foundation’s recommendation is voluntary and applies to all workers aged 18 or older. Employers which have signed up to pay the Living Wage include one third of FTSE100 companies, IKEA, and Taylor Wessing London.

Acas publishes new guidance on stress at work

Acas has published new guidance for employers on how to support employees with stress and anxiety-related problems at work to coincide with National Stress Awareness Day (which was 1 November).

The guidance recommends:

  • Talking privately and sensitively to stressed workers
  • Encouraging workers to talk to HR, senior managers and trade union representatives
  • Promoting positive mental health attitudes in the workplace

UK proposes settled status for EU citizens after Brexit

The UK has recently published proposals for EU citizens in the UK to apply for ‘settled status’ to secure immigration status after Brexit. What does that mean, how does it relate to Permanent Residence and what should EU workers do now?