The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced Employment Tribunal Fees four years ago. The number of Employment Tribunal cases has fallen by over 70% after the fees were introduced as many people have been put off from taking their employer to Tribunal.
Usdaw General Secretary John Hannett said:
“This is a major victory for working people who should now be able to access justice free of charge for Employment Tribunals and not face the prospect of paying up to £1,200 in upfront fees to lodge a case.
“We have always argued that money should not be a determining factor in being able to access justice because it hits low paid working people the hardest.
“We now call on the Government to act swiftly and scrap Tribunal Fees and reimburse everyone who has had to pay them.
“We also call on the Government to drop any proposals for increasing the Smalls Claims Limit from the current £1,000. Before the recent General Election the Government was proposing to double the Small Claims Limit for personal injury cases and to force people to take up their own workplace injury cases where compensation was likely to be below £2,000 through the Small Claims Court. This again is restricting access to justice for low paid working people as anyone taking a case would be potentially liable for their costs.
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest trade union with nearly 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 20% in the decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion