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Is the government planning to reintroduce fees?

Former Minister of State for Housing, Dominic Raab MP, gave evidence to the government’s select committee in December 2017. He was asked if the government intended to reintroduce fees and said that it was considering doing so but wanted to get it “right rather than quick”. He said that fees would be considered alongside the suggestions made in the Taylor review for resolving employee disputes.

He hinted that unpaid wages claims might be excluded from any new scheme as these are often extremely low in value.

The government got a real grubbing by the Supreme Court about fees and whilst it may, at some time in the future, reintroduce fees, we don’t believe this will be a priority.


Employment Tribunal fees - £1.8 million refunded in first wave of repayments

Former Minister of State for Housing, Dominic Raab MP, gave evidence to the government’s select committee in December 2017. In response to a question about the repayment of ET fees, he said that the government had paid 2,151 refunds worth over £1.8 million in the first month the scheme was rolled out. The government has set aside £33 million to meet this liability.

He said that the government has no intention of widely publicising its repayment scheme and claimants and respondents who have paid fees will not be contacted or offered a refund unless they apply.

Businesses that paid a fee to bring a counter claim or were ordered to do so by the tribunal should apply for reimbursement. To apply for a refund, click here and select the appropriate forms: https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunals/refund-tribunal-fees: https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunals/refund-tribunal-fees

ICO publishes series of FAQs on GDPR

The Information Commissioner's Office has published a number of guides relating to the general data protection regulations (GDPR) which come into force in May 2018. The guides are designed to assist local authorities, education providers, small public health sector bodies, small organisations and charities.


Changes to basic DBS check application procedure in England and Wales

The government has announced changes to the way in which individuals in England and Wales can apply for a basic criminal records check.

Since 10 March 2014, individuals have been entitled to apply for a basic disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) under section 112 of the Police Act 1997. However, in practice, all applications for basic disclosure from applicants in England, Wales and Scotland had to be submitted to Disclosure Scotland. A basic certificate contains details of convictions and conditional cautions that are considered to be unspent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

From January 2018, applicants in England and Wales should apply directly to the DBS for a basic certificate. Disclosure Scotland has announced that it will no longer be dealing with requests from such applicants from 17 January 2018.


Acas publishes quarterly update on early conciliation statistics

Acas has published statistics on its early conciliation service covering the period April to September 2017. According to the statistics, the number of notifications received by Acas between April 2017 and the end of July 2017 were consistent with those received throughout the course of 2016-2017, with Acas receiving roughly 1,700 notifications a week.

Is the Apprenticeship scheme fit for purpose?

The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in April last year and requires employers with a payroll of over £3 million to pay 0.5% of their payroll costs to HMRC to fund the Apprenticeship Levy. Some large employers have complained that despite spending thousands on the Levy, they cannot use the fund to train their own staff because of restrictions which require businesses to use an approved training provider – even in circumstances when they develop the skills they need in house.

The unexpectedly low take up of apprenticeships strongly suggests that the Levy is just another tax offering limited benefits for many businesses.


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January 2018

Key Contact

Sybille Steiner