The government has launched the first phase of its refund scheme for employment tribunal fees, following the Supreme Court’s judgment in July 2017 inR (on the application of Unison) v Lord Chancellor 2017 that the fees regime was unlawful. The first phase will last for about four weeks, thereafter full details of the scheme, including details of how it can be accessed, will be made available once it is fully rolled out.
In this initial stage, approximately 1,000 claimants will be contacted directly, and given the chance to complete an application to apply for a refund before the full scheme is opened in the coming weeks. The government is also working with trade unions who have supported large multiple claims.
Once the full scheme is available, and for those who have paid fees but are not invited to take part in the initial stage, the government is setting up a pre-registration scheme so that they can register an interest in applying. Those who wish to do so can pre-register their claims by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As well as being refunded their original fee, successful applicants to the scheme will be paid interest of 0.5%, calculated from the date of the original fee payment up until the refund date.
The total estimated cost of refunding employment tribunal fees, including interest, is £33 million.