Responding to the 79 per cent fall in employment tribunal cases – from 45,710 between September and December 2012 to 9,801 cases for the same period last year – since the government introduced a fee for most workers to take cases, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“These figures show that introducing fees for tribunal cases has stopped many people seeking justice. No one will believe that Britain’s workplaces have got fairer overnight. Too many of Britain’s bad bosses are getting away with treating staff badly, confident that the government is on their side.
“The big drop in sex discrimination and pregnancy dismissal claims show that it is likely that women are the main losers. But fees are deterring both women and men from taking cases for unpaid wages where the fees are greater than the sums held back by their bosses. Only the very poorest get relief from fees – TUC research shows that more than one in three households containing at least one worker on the minimum wage has to pay £390 to bring an unpaid wage claim.
“It is sheer hypocrisy for ministers to suggest that the charges have stopped drawn out disputes and ‘emotional damage’ to workers. Nothing is worse than suffering injustice and knowing that you cannot afford to put it right.
“These figures also show why workers should be in a union. While there has been a big fall is in cases brought by individuals, unions are still supporting members who have been treated badly and need to seek justice.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The TUC is organising Fair Pay Fortnight from Monday 24 March to Sunday 6 April. It will be a series of events across England and Wales to raise awareness about falling living standards. www.fairpayfortnight.org
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @tucnews
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E: firstname.lastname@example.org