14 May 2018
Prior to the Supreme Court Axing Tribunal Fees in July, many employers were forced to pay their employees if they lost a claim.
On July 26th 2017 the Supreme Court ruled the fees were ‘unlawful’ and a ‘barrier to justice’, which means everyone who has paid the fees is entitled to a refund – including employers who have entered into judicial mediation and counter-claims. Since then there has been a question mark over how the Government would go about refunding fees to claimants who paid them from their introduction on July 29th 2013 until their abolition in July.
This month the Government has announced that an initial group of around 1,000 individuals will be contacted from October 20th 2017 and given the chance to apply for repayment. The full scheme will then be opened up in the next few weeks. As well as being refunded their original fees, successful applicants will be paid 0.5% in interest - calculated from the date of the original payment up until the refund date.
Employers WILL Be Able To Claim Back Fees
Amanda Beattie, Croner Litigation Manager, says: “The Supreme Court has deemed that Employment Tribunal fees are unlawful under both UK and EU law. Therefore the Government is introducing a process of refunding these fees to those who have previously paid them – whether they are Claimants or Respondents. “Therefore, this applies to Respondents who have been ordered by an Employment Tribunal to pay the Claimant’s Tribunal fees in the event a Claimant was successful in their claim(s).
“However, in cases where the Tribunal fee was included in a settlement sum paid under a Settlement Agreement, Respondents will not be able to reclaim the fee element of any settlement payments unless the wording of the settlement agreement allows them to do so. “In addition, the refund process also applies to employers who were subject to their own employment tribunal fees.
This is where, under the fees regime, they were required to pay £600 if both parties wanted to enter into ‘judicial mediation’ and a fee was also charged if an employer wanted to bring a counter-claim against the employee for breach of contract. This too can be refunded under the Government’s planned refund process.”
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