Employment tribunal fees would “put a hurdle in front of workers seeking justice”, campaigners have warned, amid plans to potentially impose new costs on the process.
The government announced this week that it has opened a consultation on re-introducing fees in the employment tribunal and the employment appeal tribunal system.
In 2017 the Supreme Court quashed a previous tribunal fees regime because it “effectively prevents access to justice, and is therefore unlawful.”
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) says that by seeking to reimpose fees the government is “taking the side of bad bosses” over workers exercising their rights.
TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said: “This is another example of ministers taking the side of bad bosses, not working people.
“Now, the government wants to make it even harder for working people to seek justice if they face discrimination, unfair dismissal or withheld wages.
“When P&O Ferries flouted employment law by sacking 800 workers without notice, they did almost nothing about it.
“All working people should be able to enforce their rights. But introducing fees for tribunals puts yet another hurdle in the way of those seeking justice at their most vulnerable moment.
“The Tories have already tried this and failed. Last time they introduced tribunal fees, claims dropped by two-thirds. And the Supreme Court threw them out – saying they interfered with access to justice.
“Working people shouldn’t be picking up the bill for exploitative employers’ poor behaviour. Employment tribunal fees are just an invitation for bad bosses to ride roughshod over workers.”