80 per cent of Tribunal refunds still unpaid

80 per cent of Tribunal refunds still unpaid

A year on from a Supreme Court ruling that rendered paying a fee to bring an Employment Tribunal claim as unlawful, there are still around 80 per cent of refunds outstanding.

According to figures recently published by the Ministry of Justice, it has so far only refunded £6.6 million of the expected £33 million refund cost.

The Supreme Court ruling in July 2017 came after judges unanimously backed a challenge from trade union Unison, which had claimed that the fees were introduced unlawfully and prevented thousands of employees, particularly those on a low income, from getting justice if they were badly treated by their employers.

Christina McAnea the assistant general secretary of Unison reacted to the figures by saying: “Putting right this huge wrong should have happened faster. The Government must make more of an effort to pay back the money it owes to thousands of people.”

Ministry of Justice figures have also revealed that there has been a sharp rise in the number of people bringing a claim since last July’s ruling compared to the period when the fees were in place.

They show that 9,252 single claims were brought against employers in the period of January 2018 to the end of March, which was more than double the number of claims made between October 2013 and June 2017.

An HM Courts and Tribunals Service spokesperson said: “Since launching our refund scheme we have been working hard to process refunds to those eligible. We are working with trade unions to get the message out and are also sending around 10,000 letters a month to those people we believe to be eligible.”