Bad bosses benefit

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‘Introduction of fees for tribunals has prevented justice’

Introducing fees for employment tribunals has been a “huge victory” for the country’s worst bosses and has led to a collapse in the number of claims, according to a new report.

The TUC said women and low-paid workers had been worst affected since the Government brought in fees of up to £1,200 last year.

The total number of claims had fallen by 79 per cent, but there had been an 80 per cent cut in sex discrimination claims, while cases of unpaid wages and holiday pay were down by 85 per cent, a study found.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: 
“Employment tribunal fees have been a huge victory for Britain’s worst bosses.

“By charging up-front fees for harassment and abuse claims the Government has made it easier for bad employers to get away with the most appalling behaviour.

“Tribunal fees are part of a wider campaign to get rid of workers’ basic rights.

“The consequence has been to price low-paid and vulnerable people out of justice.”

Justice minister Shailesh Vara has said: “It is in everyone’s interest to avoid drawn out disputes which emotionally damage workers and financially damage 
businesses. That’s why we are encouraging quicker, simpler and free alternatives such as the early conciliation service provided by Acas. It is not fair for the taxpayer to foot the 
entire £74m bill for people to escalate workplace disputes to a tribunal, and it is not unreasonable to expect people who can afford to do so to make a contribution.

“For those who cannot afford to pay, full fee waivers are available.”