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Refunds worth millions of pounds still unclaimed

In July 2017 the Supreme Court ruled that employment tribunal fees prevented access to justice and as such were illegal.

The fees had been introduced in 2013 amidst government claims that the move would speed up settlements and deter people from bringing claims that were groundless.

As a result, between 2013 and 2017, there was a 70 per cent reduction in the number of cases going before employment tribunals; something which the court directly attributed to the introduction of the fees.

The court ruled that the fees contravened both EU and UK law and discriminated against women and other protected groups and said that a significant number of people had found them unaffordable.

After the ruling, the government agreed to take immediate steps to stop charging fees and refund those who had paid already paid, which was likely to cost up to £32 million.

However, to date only 2,151 payments totaling just £1.8 million having been made, according to Employment Tribunal Fee Refund Statistics produced at the end of 2017.

Sarah Naylor, employment law specialist commented: “Thousands of people were charged for seeking justice and we will probably never know how many thousands more were deterred from pursuing a claim because they couldn’t afford the tribunal fees which were as much as £1200 in some instances.”

Reclaiming fees

You can reclaim any fees you paid between July 2013 and July 2017. You can claim online if you have a UK bank account, have not changed your name since the tribunal and have not claimed against more than one employer.

For more information visit https://employmenttribunals.service.gov.uk/apply/refund/profile-selection

If you can’t apply online, you can download a form and post it to the addressed shown on the form.

You will also be able to claim 0.5% interest for each year since the tribunal.

 

Author: Gail Harris

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