Government reforms (2): Tribunal fees – refunds available (finally!)

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What do we already know?

We updated you in our July 2017 Newsflash Tribunal fees unlawful – enormous impact that the Supreme Court ruled Tribunal fees unlawful and removed them with immediate effect, including retrospectively all the way back to their start in July 2013.

The Supreme Court’s decision also meant the refunding of all Tribunal fees paid in the past by the Lord Chancellor’s Department.

What’s new?

After a brief pilot scheme, the full scheme for refunding Tribunal fees is open for use.

The scheme can be used immediately by all claimants and respondents who have paid a fee during Tribunal proceedings, or during an appeal to the EAT. Refunds will be processed directly to the applicant’s bank account, together with interest at 0.5%.

There are various ways to apply for a refund:

  • An online application process (available here).  This method seems only to be open to individual claimants who either paid the fee themselves, or reimbursed a representative who paid a fee on their behalf.
  • Refund Form 1-C (available here).  This is for claimants only and can be used to apply for a refund by post or email. This can be used by individual claimants who paid the fee themselves, reimbursed their representative for a fee paid on their behalf, or were ordered to reimburse their opponent for a fee.
  • Refund Form 3-S (available here).  This can be used by lead claimants in a multiple claim, on the basis that they will distribute the refund to the other claimants. It can also be used by representatives who paid fees on behalf of an individual or group of claimants, such as trade unions who have funded a claim.
  • Refund Form 2-R (available here) is designed for respondents, allowing those who have paid a fee to claim a refund. It also covers the situation where a respondent was ordered to reimburse a claimant for Tribunal fees.

The forms also make it clear that all types of fee can be reclaimed, not just fees for issuing a claim or having a hearing which were the subject of the Supreme Court’s decision. A list of fees is set out at the end of the form, which includes fees for: judicial mediation; reconsideration of a default judgment; reconsideration of judgment following a final hearing; dismissal following withdrawal; and employer contract claims.

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