Legal Updates

MoJ and HMCTS announce Employment Tribunal Fee Reimbursement Scheme

Written by Laura Livingstone, Rebecca Lynch

In July of this year the Supreme Court ruled that the introduction of fees in the Employment Tribunal by the Government in 2013, was unlawful and inconsistent with the principle of access to justice.

Following this decision the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said that it would ‘take immediate steps to stop charging fees in employment tribunals and put in place arrangements to refund those who have paid’.

The MoJ and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) have now published initial details of the Employment Tribunal fee reimbursement scheme.

The scheme will be implemented in phases with HMCTS firstly writing to 1,000 eligible individuals asking them to apply for reimbursement. It is anticipated that a full roll out of the scheme will take four weeks. Those who do not receive invitations from HMCTS can pre-register their interest in applying for reimbursement via email or post (details of which are on the MoJ website).

Successful reimbursement claims will also be entitled to receive interest on the fee that was paid. This will be at the rate of 0.5% and will be calculated from the date the fee was paid up until the refund date.

The government estimates that the total cost of reimbursement, including interest, will be approximately £33 million.

The Government has not yet however published details on how they intend to deal with claims which were not accepted or were dismissed for failure to pay a fee. It is also thought that the scheme will not cover claims that were never brought due to the fact that the Claimant was deterred from doing so because of the fee. It is expected that such claims will be dealt with under the normal rules governing out-of-time claims.

Please get in touch with our Employment team for more information.

Contact the Author

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Laura Livingstone

I am a partner and head of employment at Gordon Dadds. I have 24 years qualification experience in employment law. My expertise lies in the luxury retail, media, IT and architectural sectors. Over my career, I have dealt with all aspects of employment law within these fields, including a restructuring of Shoe Studio group following the sale out of administration. I spend 100% of my time dealing with employment matters. I am passionate about sport, both as a spectator and a participator; I play lacrosse for West London Women’s Club and I am a season ticket holder for Harlequins Rugby Club. Qualifications: BA History (Bristol) Postgraduate Diploma Law/Common Postgraduate Examination (CPE) (University of West London) Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice/Legal Practice Course (LPC) (College of Law London)

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Rebecca Lynch

I am a partner in the employment team and also group referrals director. I graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 2001 with an Honours degree in Law with French, having spent a year in New York working at a niche law firm in Manhattan. When I returned to the UK I qualified at Seddons in 2004, moved to Davenport Lyons in 2007, and joined Gordon Dadds in 2014. I advise on all aspects of contentious and non contentious employment law, for both employers and employees, including unfair dismissal, discrimination, redundancy/restructure and TUPE.  I have extensive experience in employment tribunal litigation and I often advise both employers and senior executives negotiating new contracts of employment, exit packages and on the enforceability of restrictive covenants. Outside work, I enjoy travelling and sport, including social netball, yoga and running. I have completed marathons in London and San Sebastian. I am also (by marriage) a supporter of Crystal Palace FC and have recently been accepted onto the waiting list to become a member of the MCC.

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