By Chloe Doggett
FOLLOWING the decision of the Supreme Court to abolish the payment of employment tribunal fees on 26 July 2017, if you have previously paid a fee to bring a claim in the employment tribunal, upon application, this will be refunded to you. The Government has estimated that the total refund of all employment tribunal fees will amount to £33 million.
As of 15 November 2017, you are now able to reclaim your fee. In addition to the full refund of the amount paid, you will also receive interest on the sum. Interest will be calculated at a rate of 0.5 per cent from the date the fee was paid, to the date it is refunded to you.
An application can be made online if your claim was brought against one employer, you have a UK bank account and as long as you haven't changed your name since you made the claim. Alternatively, you can apply by post or by email using one of three forms depending on whether you are the claimant, the respondent or the representative/sponsor.
So far the Government have not provided guidance for claimants who were not able to bring their claim due to the fees previously in place. However, there is a possibility the tribunal will allow you to bring your claim. The claim will need to be filed in the normal way, and at the same time you will need to apply for an extension of time to submit your claim.
The extension request application must provide for two things. Firstly, that it was not reasonably practical for you to serve your claim within the limitation period and secondly that it is just and reasonable to allow this extension. The employment tribunal may well wish to see evidence of your financial position and will also consider the promptness of the claim being brought.
Currently, there are no requirements on a party who received the tribunal fee by way of a costs order to repay this. It is possible for the party ordered to pay the tribunal fee to apply for a refund of this fee. When completing the application, the party will need to have to hand a copy of the order which states they were to pay the fees and also proof that the payment was made.
The scheme will not currently refund the fees to a respondent who reimbursed the claimant for these fees under a settlement agreement.
For more information, contact Chloe Doggett at Wilson Browne Solicitors on 01536 410014 or visit the website www.wilsonbrowne.co.uk