Since the Supreme Court, in a case brought by Unison in July of this year, declared that fees in employment tribunals were unlawful, plans for reimbursement of fees paid by Claimants have been anticipated. The scheme has now been revealed and will be implemented on a phased basis. The scheme commenced on 20th October 2017 and started with 1000 parties that the government wrote to, inviting them to apply for reimbursement of the fees they paid.
Parties that are successful with their reimbursement claims will also benefit from interest on that fee, at the rate of 0.5%, calculated from the date of the original payment up until the date of the refund. The full roll out of the scheme is to follow in the coming months.
Crucially for employers, there has not yet been any announcement by the government on how they are going to deal with claims which were rejected or dismissed previously for non-payment of a fee. It is highly likely that this will result in claimants who were affected by this to be asked whether they want their claims to be reinstated. This is something that Organisations should be aware of, as claims that they once thought of as being dismissed could potentially be live again. More reassuring though is the fact that the anticipated announcement will not include cases where a Claimant states that they were deterred from raising a claim because of the fees involved.
There are still further details to be announced in relation to the full roll out of the scheme and it remains unclear how the reinstatement of claims rejected or dismissed for failure to pay a fee will be announced. What is clear is that the process of reimbursement is in full swing. At Law At Work, we will provide you with a full breakdown of how employers will be affected once the Government releases further details. If you have concerns about any cases, please speak to your Legal Manager.