TUC: Court ruling is victory for workers’ access to justice
The Supreme Court has today (Wednesday) quashed the government’s system of fees for employment tribunals.
The case was taken by the UNISON trade union, which successfully argued that the fees – which can be as high as £1,200 per case — prevented many workers from gaining justice at work.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“This is a massive win for working people. Congratulations to UNISON for doggedly pursuing this case. Today’s result shows the value of working people standing together in trade unions.
“Too many low-paid workers couldn’t afford to uphold their rights at work, even when they’ve faced harassment or have been sacked unfairly.
“Tribunal fees have been a bonanza for bad bosses, giving them free rein to mistreat staff. Any fees paid so far should be refunded as soon as possible.”
Notes to Editors:
- UNISON’s statement is here: www.unison.org.uk/news/article/2017/07/tribunal-fees-victory/
Tribunal fees were introduced in July 2013, and can run up to £1,200 per case. The most common reasons for employment tribunal cases include unfair dismissal, holiday pay, and sex discrimination.
Official statistics show that the number of cases taken by workers has dropped by nearly 70% since the fees were introduced. TUC research shows that this fall was especially high in cases involving part-time work rules (-83%), sexual orientation discrimination (-75%), and unauthorised deductions from wages (-78%).
While trade unions often pay the fees for their members, the figures indicate that many workers simply cannot afford to take a case.
- The TUC compared official figures from before and after the introduction of fees to see which types of claims had seen the greatest decrease:
Go to web site for table
Source: Tab ET.3: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/575422...
- Government research on fall in employment tribunal cases: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-introduction-of-fees-i...
- All TUC press releases can be found at tuc.org.uk/media
- TUC Press Office on Twitter: @tucnews
Issued: 26 July, 2017
uploaded: Thu, Jul 27 2017
modified: Tue, Dec 30 1969
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