Workers priced out of justice

Workers priced out of justice

The number of Employment Tribunal claims fell by 79% since fees were introduced last July. Prospect members are protected from this attack on access to justice, as the union pays the fees in cases we support.

Fees to bring a tribunal claim were introduced from 29 July 2013. The cost of bringing an unfair dismissal or discrimination claim is £1,200. Prospect argued strongly against the introduction of fees as it would deny access to justice for many people.

The first full statistics on the number of claims since fees were introduced have been published. A significant reduction in claims was expected, but the figures are worse than predicted. From January to June 2013 there was an average of 4,300 single claims each month. But from September to December it drops to 1,491.

The number of new claims fell by 79% compared to the same period in 2012.

The number of claims for Prospect members has remained consistent however, as the union pays the fees for members.

Marion Scovell, Prospect legal officer, said: “The plummet in the number of claims shows the impact of the government's attack on workers' rights. The extortionate level of fees is unsurprisingly deterring people with valid claims. Prospect pays the fee for cases we support, so our members are protected from this unfairness.”