Workers whose bosses sack them unfairly, discriminate against them or withhold their wages will now have to pay up to £1,200 to challenge them in court.
New employment tribunal fees came into force this week. Workers will now be charged for bringing a claim, charged again if the claim goes to hearing, and charged yet again if it goes to an appeal.
This will affect 150,000 a year according to the Unite union—many of whom will no longer be able to afford the tribunals. The TUC called it “a great day for Britain’s worst bosses”.
The GMB union has staged protests and the Unison union has been granted a judicial review into the fees in October. The government boasts that the fees will deter “vexatious” claims.
But it says that a tightly restricted system to get the fees reduced or waived for the poorest workers means that “genuine” claims will still be heard.
How they expect to tell the difference isn’t clear. But the bosses are already gloating.