Employment tribunal claims have called by 70% since the new fees system was introduced, with women, low-paid workers, disabled people, and black and Asian workers being the big losers. The statistics are the third quarterly set of figures since the new …

Tim Lezard UK, Labour analysis

ThompsonsEmployment tribunal claims have called by 70% since the new fees system was introduced, with women, low-paid workers, disabled people, and black and Asian workers being the big losers.

The statistics are the third quarterly set of figures since the new fees system was introduced and show that individual claims were down overall by 70 per cent (from 12,727 to 3,792) in April to June 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Early conciliation through Acas is a welcome step that is helping in some cases when things go wrong at work, but it can’t explain such a large fall in the number of employment tribunals. The fees system is a victory for Britain’s bad bosses who are getting away with harassment and abuse of workers.

“Tribunal fees are pricing workers out of justice and have created a barrier to basic rights at work. The government has put Britain in a race to the bottom that is creating an economy based on zero-hours jobs and zero-rights for workers.”

Thompsons Solicitors chief executive Stephen Cavalier said: “The system has prevented the most vulnerable employees from upholding their rights and this increased insecurity comes at a time when families have been hit hard by the cost-of-living crisis.

“Any new system must ensure that all workers have access to justice to enforce their rights at work and to get proper redress.”

Earlier this week shadow business minister Chuka Umunna MP told TUC Congress in Liverpool: “We have fought to defend people’s rights and voice in opposition but these rights are only meaningful if you can get proper redress. The current employment tribunal system is unfair, unsustainable and has resulted in prohibitive costs locking people out of the justice they are entitled to.

“Affordability should not be a barrier to workplace justice.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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