Socialist Worker

Huge slump in tribunal claims after Tories hike up fees

Issue No. 2415

There have been 70 percent fewer claims against bosses at employment tribunals since the Tories introduced £1,200 fees. A recent TUC report, At What Price Justice, exposes the dramatic impact this has had.

Women and low paid workers are the most affected. Sex discrimination claims fell by 80 percent from 6,017 between January and March 2013 to only 1,222 in the same period this year.

The number of women pursuing pregnancy discrimination claims is also down by over a quarter.

Cases of unpaid wages and holiday pay fell 85 percent. The figure for workers claiming the national minimum wage dropped 70 percent.

The report suggests that this is due to the fee being more than the unpaid wages being claimed for many low paid workers.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said, “Tribunal fees are part of a wider campaign to get rid of workers’ basic rights.”

Other equality claims, including those on the basis of race and disability have also seen a dramatic fall in the first three months of 2014. 

There has been a fall of 46 percent of claims over disability. The number of race discrimination and sexual orientation claims both dropped 60 percent compared to the same period in 2013.

The government said that it would have a scheme to help those who could not afford to pay all or part of the fee. 

But in fact only 24 percent of those workers who applied for financial assistance were successful in having any part of their fees remitted.


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