Ministry of Justice pays out nearly £2m in first two months of employment tribunal fee refund scheme

Refunds: Process underway

The government repaid £1.8m to employment tribunal claimants in the first two months of the scheme set up in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling tribunal fees unlawful, it has revealed.

Statistics released yesterday showed that, as at 18 December 2017, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) had received 4,689 applications and processed 2,660 of them.

It had made 2,151 payments at that time with a monetary value of £1.8m.

In all, the MoJ expects to refund £33m to claimants, including interest, covering the period from 29 July 2013, when the fees were introduced, to the Supreme Court ruling on 26 July 2017.

In the first phase of the refund process, which lasted around four weeks to test it worked, the MoJ wrote to a group of around 1,000 people who had contacted the ministry after the Supreme Court judgment enquiring about a refund.

This was deemed a success and from 15 November, anyone who thought they may be eligible for a refund could apply via the website.

The MoJ has also been working with trade unions that have supported large multiple claims potentially involving hundreds of claimants, and ahead of the full launch people were invited to pre-register their interest in applying.

Where people are 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 the MoJ warned that it may take longer to process.

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, but the person who paid the fee to the tribunal will be.

All applicants have to sign a declaration of truth about the details they provide.

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