Wrexham solicitor criticises Government over tardy handling of Employment Tribunal fees refunds

A Wrexham employment solicitor has criticised delays by the Government to implement its plans to refund Employment Tribunal fees to those affected by a landmark decision of the Supreme Court.
Over 100,000 claimants are thought to be due refunds of up to £1,200 after the most senior court in the land ruled in July that Employment Tribunal fees introduced in 2013 were unlawful.
Gwyn Edwards of GHP Legal, which employs around a hundred people at its offices in Wrexham, Oswestry, Llangollen and Chirk, said: “The Ministry of Justice only announced in mid-October details of a 'first phase' where they will contact an initial group of up to 1,000 people. They say that details of the full scheme will be opened up in the coming weeks; however this is too little, too late.
“Some of my clients have had to pay fees of up to £1,200 and they can ill afford to wait any longer. It is wrong that they have had to wait nearly 3 months for the initial plans to be announced and we still do not know when refunds will actually be issued. Whilst we welcome the decision of the Supreme Court, the consequences should have been anticipated by the Government and a contingency plan put in place.
“Further, although the Government has announced that successful applicants will be paid interest of 0.5% calculated from the date of the original payment up until the refund date this does not go far enough to compensate those who have had to struggle financially to pursue their legal rights.
“Anyone who paid an Employment Tribunal fee is urged to contact the Employment Tribunals Central Office at ethelpwithfees@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk in order to register their intention to claim a refund.”