Newsflash: Tribunal fees – the aftermath

What do we already know?

We updated you in our July Newsflash Tribunal fees unlawful – enormous impact that the Supreme Court has ruled that Tribunal fees are unlawful and have struck them down, not just with immediate effect but also back-dated to their inception in July 2013.

We also described the potential for ‘historical’ claims that could now be brought by employees, going back to April 2013 and the potential impact on Tribunals and employers deluged by new and backdated claims, including those for reimbursement of fees.

What’s new?

In order to deal with the impact on Tribunals dealing with ‘historical’ claims now brought in reliance on the Supreme Court’s ruling that tribunal fees were unlawful, the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals have issued Case Management Orders (available here) staying such claims and applications.

These Orders:

  • “Stay” (i.e. pause) all Tribunal claims or applications brought in reliance on the Supreme Court’s decision in order “to await decisions of the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service in relation to the implications of that decision” (presumably once the Courts and Tribunal service can work out the mechanics of handling the likely level of claims).
  • Direct any party or representative who wishes to make representations for the further conduct of such claims or applications to apply to the appropriate Regional Employment Judge.

It appears that this is a blanket approach which will include applications for refunds of fees, claims that were rejected or dismissed because fees were not paid, and new claims which were not brought earlier because of fees and in which an extension of time is now sought.