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Can Claimants who could not Afford the Tribunal Fees now bring a Claim Retrospectively?

After the Supreme Court ruling on September 17th, 2017, fees for employment tribunals are no longer payable. This is indeed good news for someone who cannot afford a tribunal fee and needs to bring in a claim.

The regime for employment tribunal claim fees has been deemed unlawful since the time it was introduced. The decision was primarily based on the constitutional law of UK that states that people should have access to the court and judgement, unless parliament has said otherwise.

What was the fee?

The fee to use an employment tribunal was £1,200 per case. This led to many employees failing to file a claim and seek justice, due to the high amount payable. This led to a 70% drop in claims and led to unfair practices becoming the norm within the workplace.

Fortunately, the Supreme Court has now made it clear that charging the fee for justice is unfair and it has been abolished.

Submitting a tribunal claim now

If a person has faced unfair treatment or discrimination at the place of work, they are now free to submit a claim, at an employment solicitors, without paying any fee.

Most people choose to file their claim online through government websites. While it may take a while for the websites and forms to be updated with the new rule, it clearly states that you need not pay any fee in order to file a claim against your employer. Hence, the rule has taken an immediate effect.

Refund of fees

If you have paid any employment tribunal fee in the past, you can also file a refund for the same. This can be done either online or by filling out a form at one of the employee tribunal offices.

In a scenario where the employer has been ordered by the tribunal to reimburse the fee to the claimant for fee paid and the employer did so, they can also reclaim the fee.

Past claims rejected, or never brought in, due to high fees

If a claimant was dismissed due to no payment of fee they can also now reinstate their claim and seek judgement.

But whether an employment tribunal will allow a late submission of a claim still remains a question to be answered. Therefore, it is suggested that if your claim was rejected, due to non-payment of fee, you should file for reinstating your claim as soon as possible.