Disgruntled employees could be asked to pay up to £1,200 to take their employers to a tribunal according to new plans by the coalition government. In what will be seen by some as an attack on justice, the government are looking to recoup some of the £84m per year that is currently spent on taking claims to an employment tribunal.
Whilst the proposal is being hailed by some as a great way to reduce the number of spurious claims that are creating a backlog in the system, the reality is that many employees with a genuine claim may also be put off taking things further.
This view is echoed by Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TUC:
“It is vital that working people have fair access to justice, but introducing fees for tribunals will deter many – particularly those on low wages – from taking valid claims to court. Many of the UK’s most vulnerable workers will simply be priced out of justice.”
Dave Prentis, General Secretary of Unison added:
“This is a disgraceful move that tips the scales of justice heavily towards employers, and denies legal redress to those who do not have the cash to pay for it.”
Whilst it is true, that ‘weak’ claims have been on the rise for a number of years, it is vital that workers continue to be protected adequately by law, and that suitable means of recourse be available to all, regardless of means.