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....actually, no.

If you have a county court judgment registered against someone who hasn’t paid up the court will grant 8% interest on the debt from the date it was due, but I digress.

Readers may be aware that the coalition government introduced fees for Employment Tribunal applications and hearings in July 2013. A legal remedy that had previously (since the introduction of ‘Industrial tribunals’ in 1964 in fact) been free of charge overnight became more expensive than the county court.

The new fee structure was the subject of a number of legal challenges in the Supreme Court (House of Lords to us oldies), all of which failed.

However, a case brought by the Unite trade union resulted in the system being declared illegal in July 2017. Their learned lordships commented on the government’s misunderstanding of elementary economics and plain common sense... who am I to argue ?

Going forward that was good news for potential claimants and less good news both for potential respondents and the government as it continues to try and squeeze as much as possible from the justice system.

Given the nature of the ruling, the question also arose as to what to do with the fees actually paid, some £27,000,000 or so.  The government has now announced that it will contact the first 1,000 people due a refund before the full system begins and pay a whopping 0.5% interest from the date the fee was paid.

It looks like some people will be enjoying a nice start to 2018.


For all your employment law needs contact Ian Clay at Robert Barber Solicitors on 0115 9552299 or iclay@robertbarber.co.uk