Following on from our previous update in relation to the landmark Unison case and the Supreme Court ruling that employment tribunal fees are unlawful, we thought it would be useful to update you on the current position.
Following the ruling, the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals issued a Case Management Order staying (i.e. placing on hold) all claims or applications brought in reliance of the decision so that the detailed arrangements relating to the implications of that decision could be worked upon.
Further Case Management Orders have now been issued by the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals lifting the blanket stay.
Therefore, the stay has now been lifted and all applications for reimbursement of fees, reinstatement of claims that were either rejected or dismissed for non-payment of fees should be made once further guidance has been given by the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (“HMCTS”).
It is envisaged that different rules will apply to employment tribunal claims struck out since July 2013 for non-payment of fees to those that never brought claims due to the deterrent effect of fees.
The latest Case Management Order seems to provide for the following:
- applications for fees reimbursement will be made in accordance with administrative arrangements to be announced by the Ministry of Justice and HMCTS in September 2017;
- applications for the reinstatement of claims that were rejected or dismissed for non-payment of fees will be made in accordance with administrative arrangements to be announced by the Ministry of Justice and HMCTS shortly;
- all other applications (other than in respect of fees or reinstatement of claims) brought in reliance of the Supreme Court decision will be considered judicially in accordance with usual legal and procedural principles.
Therefore, the first two categories listed above will be dealt with administratively and it is expected without the need for judicial intervention. For other claims, it is expected that the vast majority of these will be from claimants who never brought their claim because of the deterrent effect of the fee and are now seeking an extension of time, these will be considered judicially. New arguments relating to extensions of time may be advocated. It remains to be seen whether, and to what extent, these claims are allowed to proceed. Historically the tests relating to extension of time limits have been quite clear depending on the nature of the claim. However, these circumstances are unique and unusual.
This is going to be an incredibly busy time for the Employment Tribunals service. Employers may be faced with reinvigorated claims that they thought had been struck out or indeed new claims permitted to proceed despite being out of time and having to defend these despite the passage of time.
Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP Solicitors offer a comprehensive employment law service which is extremely well received by our clients.
We offer the full range of employment law services. Part of our service offering is our GAD HR Scheme which provides a cost-effective solution for employment law and HR matters.
What is the GAD HR Scheme?
The Scheme is a fantastic service providing employment law and HR support at a fixed fee. Benefits of the Scheme include:
- An advice line – direct contact with a specialist employment solicitor on HR and employment law matters
- Ongoing advice and support – including drafting of letters on employee issues and guidance on procedures
- Documentation – contracts of employment, staff policies and procedures
- Comprehensive insurance cover – indemnity against most awards of compensation and legal fees should one of your employees bring a claim against you
- Regular employment law updates
- Fixed monthly fee – for better financial planning
- A reduction in management time and effort – allowing you to focus on your business
Please contact us to discuss your requirements. We would be delighted to assist.
Please contact Neeta Laing on 0151 494 0777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements. We would be delighted to assist.
Watch this space for developments!