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Tribunal fees have proved to be a real disincentive for workers to seek justice, says Usdaw

Date: 14 March 2014 Shopworkers trade union leader John Hannett is horrified by a 79% fall in employment tribunal cases since the government introduced a fee for most workers to take cases.

The Ministry of Justice has published tribunal quarterly statistics for the period September to December, which show that employment tribunal cases have dropped to 9,801 from 45,710 for the same period last year.

John Hannett - Usdaw General Secretary says: “It is very disturbing to see the effect that upfront employment tribunal fees have had on the ability of workers to seek justice when they have been treated unfairly by their employers. It gives me absolutely no satisfaction to say this is exactly what we predicted when the Government first proposed the introduction of these fees.

“The truth is that most workers who want to seek justice from a bad employer will need the support of their trade union. Usdaw members know that if they ever have the misfortune of needing redress from an employment tribunal, and if their case has reasonable prospects of success, we will support them with legal advice, representation and they will not need to pay the tribunal fees.

“This Government policy has proved to be unjust and workers should take the message to get protected by joining a trade union.”

Notes for Editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 432,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last 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.

Ministry of Justice Tribunals Quarterly Statistics - October to December 2013: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/289342/tribunal-stats-oct-dec-2013.pdf

For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers