Following the decision of the Supreme Court that the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees in July 2013 was unlawful (R on the application of UNISON v Lord Chancellor  UKSC 51), the Ministry of Justice announced that the Government would cease charging fees immediately and take steps to refund payments made since their introduction – no easy task.
The first stage of the ET fee refund scheme has now been announced. Up to around 1,000 people will now be contacted individually and given the chance to complete applications before the full scheme is opened up in the coming weeks. The Government is also working with trade unions that have supported large multiple claims potentially involving hundreds of claimants.
Successful applicants to the scheme will not only be refunded the fee amount but will also be paid interest at a rate of 0.5 per cent, calculated from the date of the original payment up until the refund date.
This opening phase of the refund scheme will last for around four weeks. Further details, including information on how it can be accessed, will be made available when the scheme is rolled out fully.