Government backtracks on contacting people over employment tribunal refunds

Government backtracks on contacting people over employment tribunal refunds

The Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke, has said that the Ministry of Justice would now be contacting people who had paid the outlawed employment tribunal fees.

The announcement contradicted what Mr Gauke’s colleague, Dominic Raab, said at the end of last year, when he claimed that those affected would not be contacted, as people “often move home”.

The decision has been made after the Secretary of State said that “reasonable progress” was being made refunding the people who had paid employment tribunal fees – introduced by the then Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling, in 2013 – but further action was required.

The fee system lasted until 2017, when a ruling by the Supreme Court saw them abolished. This was following action brought by the trade union Unison. The pricing of the fees had started at around £160 and could rise as high as £950 depending upon further hearings.

Speaking on why people would now be alerted to their entitlement to a refund, Mr Gauke said: “We are writing over the next few months to everyone who paid an employment tribunal fee, but who has not yet applied for a refund, to raise awareness of the existence of the scheme, and providing details on how to apply.”

It was confirmed that by the end of last year, 3,400 refunds had been made. The total cost of refunding the employment tribunal fees is expected to total around £33 million.