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Employment Law Speed Read – 27/11/17

This week's we look at why the Government has now rolled out its reimbursement scheme in full.

Government rolls out fee refund scheme in full

The case

Following the case of R (on the application of Unison) v Lord Chancellor, where the Supreme Court held that Employment Tribunal (ET) and Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) fees were unlawful, the Government has now rolled out its reimbursement scheme in full.

Initially the Government only invited around 1,000 parties to apply for refunds, as part of a phased implementation. On 15 November 2017, the Government announced that it was opening applications to all those who believed they were eligible for a refund and encouraged them to apply via the Government’s website.

What it means for you

Under the scheme, anyone who paid fees to the ET and/or the EAT between 29 July 2013 and 26 July 2017 are eligible to apply.

Those eligible for a refund include those who paid the fees to enable someone else to make a claim (for example a trade union) and employers who were ordered to pay the Claimants fees by a Tribunal. However, employers who entered into settlement agreements with claimants which included a sum to compensate them for the fees they had incurred will not be eligible for a refund under the scheme.

Claimants are only barred from obtaining a refund where the ET or EAT ordered that the Respondent pay their fees. Therefore, it appears that Claimants who entered into settlement agreements which compensated them for fees, may still be eligible to apply for a refund under the scheme.

Those who obtain a refund will also receive interest at a rate of 0.5%, which will be calculated from the date of the initial payment of the fees until the refund date.

The Government has estimated that the total amount of refunds will amount to approximately £33m.

If you have any questions on the above and how it will affect you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our employment team.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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