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23rd August 2017

Stay on employment tribunal claims lifted

On 9 August 2017, subsequent to the recent Supreme Court decision involving Unison which confirmed that Employment Tribunal fees are unlawful, the President of the Employment Tribunals issued case management orders staying claims and applications which have subsequently been brought in reliance on the decision.

The case management orders stayed (postponed) all applications or claims which had been brought in reliance on the recent case 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”. It was thought that this would also apply for those who have applied for refunds of fees previously paid as well as matters which were dismissed by the Employment Tribunal because of non-payment of fees or cases which had not been brought earlier due to the fees which were imposed.

Subsequently, however, the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals have issued further case management orders lifting the stay.

This means that any applications relating to refunds of tribunal fees and also relating to the reinstatement of claims which were dismissed or rejected for non-payment of fees should be made in compliance with arrangements which it has been confirmed will be announced ‘shortly’. Any other claim which is brought in reliance on the Supreme Court’s decision will be dealt with by the tribunal in the usual way.

The reason for the apparent change appears to be that, since the start of August, the intentions of the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service have become clearer and an announcement on new arrangements in terms of issuing claims is expected to be released shortly.

The above demonstrates the impact the Unison case is having on the Employment Tribunal system. Undoubtedly there will be further updates in due course on how the Employment Tribunal will deal with the impact of this ground-breaking decision.

Source: Chadwick Lawrence

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