11 November 2016 #Employment
New figures published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) show that the number of claims challenging unfair dismissals and discrimination at work has fallen by 9,000 a month and blames this reduction on the introduction of employment tribunal fees in July 2013.
The figures, which compare the number of claims brought in 2012-2013 with those in 2015-2016, show that the sharpest falls in claims were for unfair dismissal (73%) and sex discrimination (71%). There were also sharp declines in claims relating to race and disability discrimination, with reductions of 58% and 54% respectively. TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, says that the fees – which can reach up to £1,200 – are “pricing out” people from being able to seek justice and the TUC is increasing its pressure on the Government to abolish them.
This criticism corresponds with a Justice Select Committee report published in June this year which concluded that fees “had a significant adverse impact on access to justice for meritorious claims”. The TUC have also criticised the Ministry of Justice’s ongoing failure to produce its review on the fees impact which was due at the end of last year.
Frances O’Grady challenged the Prime Minister directly, stating "We heard from Theresa May that she wanted to govern for the many, not the few. Here's one of the first real practical tests, scrap those fees and ensure that all workers have access to justice.”