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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 December 2016

Slump in unfair dismissal cases - scrap tribunal fees!

The Tory-Lib Dem coalition government introduced employment tribunal fees starting in 2013

The Tory-Lib Dem coalition government introduced employment tribunal fees starting in 2013   (Click to enlarge)

Ned Hancock, Young member of Unite the Union, Birmingham

Workers took 73% less unfair dismissal cases to employment tribunal last year than before the government introduced fees.

The Tory-Lib Dem coalition government introduced fees of up to 1,200 for workers to bring cases to employment tribunal from 2013 - higher for appeals and multiple claimants.

Trade unionists warned it would lead to thousands of workers being priced out of justice.

Unfortunately, new research by the Trade Union Congress has shown this prediction was correct. The 73% drop is compared to the 12 months before fees came in.

With fees that can be more than a month's take-home pay for workers on the minimum wage, it's no surprise some bosses have felt emboldened to fire at will. In my previous job in a call centre, sackings took place regularly.

The criteria for unacceptable performance and attendance were never properly defined, creating a culture of fear and cynicism. People were hauled off the floor for disciplinaries, often at just a few hours' notice, effectively taking away their legal right to have a union representative in the hearing.

And the coalition also doubled the time it takes to qualify for unfair dismissal from one to two years. Thanks to this, only two of the 30 workers in my section would have been entitled to bring a case to tribunal, fees or none.

The Socialist Party fights to scrap tribunal fees, and ensure full employment rights from your first day on the job. But it's not just a case of having protections in law - workers need to be able to insist on them.

That's why it's vital trade unions step up efforts to organise non-union workforces, particularly younger and precarious workers, to fight to improve their conditions.

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In The Socialist 7 December 2016:


What we think

No more concessions to Labour right!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight for a socialist Brexit

Conservatives humiliated in Richmond

Newham council to sack up to 1,300

Slump in unfair dismissal cases - scrap tribunal fees!

Workers can fight Uber-style care

Compensation disabled

Them & Us


Food banks feature

Food banks and the real Daniel Blakes


NHS crisis and fightback

NHS: Stop the Tory vandals

Hundreds protest the decimation of Devon NHS

Massive support in Stoke for action to save the NHS

Health campaigners in Yorkshire protest "slash and trash plans"


International socialist news and analysis

Victory at Standing Rock: US authorities agree to re-route oil pipeline

Spain: Government forced back by Student Union mobilisations

Italy: Establishment routed - workers alternative needed

Portugal: No to witch-hunts - fight the capitalists not socialists

Austria: Far right temporarily halted

Sudan: General strike in defiance of regime


Socialist Party workplace news

Durham TAs force Labour to suspend pay cuts

Protest against Glasgow Labour's scab workforce plan to defeat Unison strike

Crossrail action in defence of victimised union rep

Unison members barely earning the living wage in some universities

Sacked bakers' union rep Kumaran Bose calls for living wage 'protection'

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Bolton council gives 300k to solicitors while making swingeing cuts

Reading TUSC writes to Labour councillors to demand cuts fight


John Sharpe: 1953-2016

Obituary: John Sharpe: 1953-2016


 

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