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Decrease in number of Employment Tribunals

There has been a 70% reduction in the number of employment cases which are brought to Tribunal.  This percentage is the same for multiple claims as for individual claims.  This trend is as a result of the requirement for fees to be paid in order for an individual to have their claim heard before an Employment Tribunal. 

Employment Tribunal fees were introduced in July 2013 as a result of The Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013, under the authority of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

There is concern that the existence of fees is preventing many employees or workers who have been unfairly treated, from accessing justice, which is particularly worrying.  However, the good news is that the government are trying to address these issues.  Justice Minister, Sir Oliver Heald has explained that he does not believe that costs should impact an employee’s ability to bring a claim to the Tribunal and so is widening the reach of the Help with Fees Scheme.  A green paper on further legal support measures is due to be introduced, which is promising and hopefully will help those who do not have the means to pay employment tribunal fees readily. 

Workplace disputes are now more commonly dealt with by employees using the services of ACAS, Conciliation Service.  The ACAS Conciliation Service is a fantastic tool for dealing with employment disputes, pre-litigation, however, if matters cannot be resolved after this stage has reached its conclusion, potential Claimants are deterred from bringing a claim because of the fee element involved.  This should not be the case in the modern society within which we live.    

Trade Unions such as UNITE & Unison have spoken out based on their own experience against the problems which having Employment Tribunal fees has caused, in their daily dealings with wronged employees and workers.  Unions feel that the only people who benefit from fees being in place are unscrupulous employers. 

The Government’s plans to make changes so that the Tribunal can be accessible to all again, are to be welcomed.  In 2017 we should not have a legal system where employers should be unaccountable for their actions and where employees or workers should not be able to bring their claim before the Tribunal because they cannot afford to do so.    

Contact our Employment Lawyers Glasgow

If you have an employment query, please call one of our lawyers today on 0141 413 4276

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