Statistics released for the period from October to December 2013 show a 79 per cent drop in employment cases lodged at Employment Tribunals. This follows a 75 per cent drop on the previous quarter.
According to figures released by the Ministry of Justice last month, the period from October to December 2013 registered 9,801 cases as opposed to the average 50,000 per quarter in 2012/13. The drop was caused by the introduction of an initial registration fee of £250, with a sliding scale of penalties and costs that make accessing employment law justice prohibitive to thousands of workers.
The government’s intention of denying workers recourse to an Employment Tribunal, which it justifies as reducing unnecessary or vexatious claims, is just another attack on employment rights. It is also a fallacy and delusion in many workers’ minds that “having their day in court” or that being rescued by the law from the evils of the employer is better than being in a trade union and in a well organised workplace.
The fashion for running to tribunals was deliberately cultivated to undermine a collective workplace response. The damage to workplace organisation, taken with the erosion of the most feeble legalistic employment rights, has left workers even more defenceless. ■