On 26 July 2017 the Supreme Court declared that the Employment Tribunal fee regime, which had been in place since 2013, was unlawful and therefore was abolished with immediate effect. As a result, the £33 million of fees paid during this 4 year period was to be refunded. The Government set up an online refund programme in October 2017, which enabled both Claimants and Respondents to claim their refund entitlements. The Gazette report below indicates that a staggering 80% of refunds had not yet been claimed, meaning that only £6.6 million of the fund has been repaid.
This suggests that despite efforts made by the Government many of those who paid fees are still unaware of their entitlement to a refund. It is likely that further initiatives will put in place moving forward in order to reinvigorate the issue.
Interestingly, the latest Tribunal statistics also suggest that the number of claims issued by Claimants in the Tribunal has risen significantly, with more than double the number of claims being issued between January and March 2018 when compared to those issued between October 2013 and June 2017.
According to figures published by the Ministry of Justice it has so far refunded £6.6m of the expected £33m refund cost (20%).