Tribunal fees abolished and refund scheme announced
In September The Supreme Court decided that the current system of Employment Tribunal fees was unlawful. This means now that an individual can bring a claim without having to pay any fees.
They ruled that charging a fee for applicants was in effect preventing access to justice and was therefore unlawful under both UK and EU law.
The court particularly noted that the majority of tribunal claims were of low value or non-financial means and therefore the charges were deterring people from claiming.
So, as the matter stands employees do not have to pay a fee to bring a tribunal claim. This makes it more important than ever to ensure that you treat employees appropriately and follow the correct processes, as they no longer have to pay a fee in order to issue a claim.
The Court also announced last month that it would now be launching a Refund Scheme for previous fees. People will be refunded their original fee with interest at 0.5% which will be calculated from the date of the payment until the refund date.
Over 1000 people have already been contacted to apply for a refund and it is estimated that it may cost up to £33million to refund the fees. This includes both individuals and businesses who have paid fees previously for cases, such as Employer’s breach of contract claims.
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If you need help with the absence process, performance management or grievances and dismissals please get in touch. We can also arrange insurance to cover the event of a claim in relation to Tribunals. Just get in touch on 01924 827869.