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Employment Tribunal Fees – are you due a refund?

Our team of Employment solicitors consists of dedicated specialists and lawyers who deal exclusively with employment law. The team have over 30 years’ experience collectively and have wide, in-depth knowledge of all employment matters and disputes.

You can be assured Lawson-West’s solicitors keep up to date with the latest legal developments and changes to bring you the best advice.

Lawson-West’s expert employment solicitors and lawyers have significant experience of recovering Employment Tribunal Fees.  

In July 2013, employment tribunal fees were introduced in order to start a claim and then bring it to a hearing.

The government had hoped that the introduction of fees would help reduce claims which were started on the basis that an employer would settle because it was easier to settle than to defend - as a result claims to the Employment Tribunal dropped by 79%.

The Supreme Court has ruled on the 26th July 2017 that the fees were unlawful for a number of reasons but most importantly because they effectively prevented access to justice, the rationale being that laws were worthless if they could not be enforced.

The Supreme Court found that access to justice was important for everyone, because without a belief that rights could be protected by going to court, people may not act in accordance with the law, especially if they believed they would never be forced to.

Fees ranged between £390 and £1,200 with discrimination cases costing more due to the complexity and time hearings took.

From the 26th July 2017 tribunal fees do not need to be paid.

The government has revealed the scheme to refund those who were incorrectly charged.

The refund scheme will begin with an initial four week phase for refunds being issued to those who have contacted the Ministry of Justice since the Supreme Court’s judgment. This phase is primarily aimed at those making applications for refunds in single claims.             

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

As well as being refunded their original fee, successful applicants to the scheme will also be paid interest of 0.5%, calculated from the date of the original payment up until the refund date.

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 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.

To receive a refund, applicants will be invited to complete an application form with their details, details of their employment tribunal claim and the fees that they paid.

People who paid the fees, but have not been invited to take part in the initial refund stage, have been invited to register online or by post.

If you have paid tribunal fees you wish to recover, we can help. Please remember there are strict time limits in Employment claims and you should take good free legal advice as soon as possible.

In addition to No Win No Fee, Lawson-West solicitors act for our clients on a variety of other funding arrangements including Legal Expenses insurance funding. We can assess your case to decide which is the best funding option for you.

With offices in Leicester, Wigston and Market Harborough our employment solicitors and lawyers can discuss your employment law claim at any of our branches. In addition, we are a national provider of expert employment law advice and welcome a free discussion with you regarding your circumstances and potential claim.

If you believe you have a situation where you require free legal advice, please contact us on telephone 0116 212 1000 or 01858 445 480, alternatively fill in the free Contact Us form and we will get in touch as soon as possible.