Ministry of Justice begins process of refunding £33m in employment tribunal fees

Raab: Full refund scheme to start in early November

The government expects to refund £33m to employment tribunal claimants after the Supreme Court ruled tribunal fees unlawful.

The Ministry of Justice has also published today the first details of how it will go about returning the fees.

The £33m figure, including interest, emerged in Parliament yesterday. It covers the period between 29 July 2013, when the fees were introduced, and 30 June 2017, the most recent figures available. The Supreme Court ruled on 26 July.

In a statement to Parliament today, justice minister Dominic Raab said the refund process would take place in phases.

“We will use this first phase, which will last up to four weeks, to ensure that that the refund process works efficiently and effectively.

“From today, officials in the Ministry of Justice will be writing to an initial group of up to 1,000 people who paid fees for proceedings in the employment tribunals, inviting them to take part. This group will consist of people who have contacted us since the Supreme Court judgment enquiring about a refund.

“Those who receive a refund will also be paid interest from the date their payment was received.”

The MoJ is also setting up a pre-registration scheme for other claimants seeking refund for when the full scheme is rolled out.

“This phase is primarily aimed at people making applications for refunds in single claims. During this period, we will also be working with the trades unions on how this process should be best applied to applications for refunds in larger multiple claims.

“We plan to roll out the full refund scheme early in November. At that point, anyone who has paid a fee in the employment tribunals, whether in a single or multiple claim, will be able to claim a refund.”

Mr Raah said where people were unable to provide full details of the fees they paid, or the details they provided did not accord with the details held by HM Courts and Tribunals Services, “their application will not be refused automatically, but it may take longer to process”.

He added: “Where a person is claiming for fees that they reimbursed to their opponent pursuant to a tribunal order, they will be asked to provide a copy of the tribunal order, and proof of payment.

“In cases where a person reimbursed their opponent under a private settlement, they will not be eligible for a refund; in such cases, the person who paid the fee to the tribunal will be eligible for a refund.”

All applicants will also be asked to sign a declaration of truth about the details they provide.

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