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Unions slam Tory plans to introduce charges for employment tribunals

TORY plans to make unfairly sacked workers pay to take their cases to an employment tribunal will allow rogue bosses to “ride roughshod over staff,” the TUC warned today.

The government announced today that it is holding new consultations on the introduction of fees for the right to have access to an employment tribunal.

If the plan goes ahead it will be the second time that the government has attempted to block workers’ access to justice by making it unaffordable.

In 2017 the Supreme Court quashed a previous tribunal fees regime because it “effectively prevents access to justice and is therefore unlawful.” 

The introduction of fees was challenged by public-sector union Unison.

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Tribunal fees denied the poorest and most vulnerable access to justice.

“The only people who would benefit from their reintroduction are unscrupulous bosses. 

“When Unison forced the fees to be scrapped in 2017, the Supreme Court said the government had acted unlawfully and unconstitutionally.

“Nothing has changed. Tribunal fees were unfair then and they are still unfair today.”

TUC general secretary Paul Nowak called the consultation “another example of ministers taking the side of bad bosses” instead of working people. 

He said: “Now, the government wants to make it even harder for working people to seek justice if they face discrimination, unfair dismissal or withheld wages. 

“All working people should be able to enforce their rights. But introducing fees for tribunals puts yet another hurdle in the way of those seeking justice at their most vulnerable moment.

“The Tories have already tried this and failed. Last time they introduced tribunal fees, claims dropped by two-thirds.

“Working people shouldn’t be picking up the bill for exploitative employers’ poor behaviour. 

“Employment tribunal fees are just an invitation for bad bosses to ride roughshod over workers.” 

 

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