Responding to the claims made today by the government that the introduction of a fee for workers seeking to pursue justice through an employment tribunal has been a success, the leader of the UK’s biggest union accused ministers of `dealing in alternative facts’.
The £1,500 fee had been introduced by the coalition government, despite warnings from unions that this would be a barrier to workplace fairness.
With the government’s own review today (Tuesday) confirming that claims had fallen by 70 per cent in the short period since their introduction, Unite the union reiterated its calls for the fees to be scrapped, alongside upcoming plans to impede unions taking personal injury claims on behalf of members.
The general secretary of Unite Len McCluskey said: "The Conservative government is dealing in alternative facts to claim that both the fall in employment tribunal applications is greater than they anticipated and that people are not losing out.
"The actual facts are that when working people are priced out of justice, and it is made exceptionally difficult for their unions to pursue it on their behalf, then the only winners are bad employers.
"Quite clearly the so-called safeguards put in place by the government are not adequate. These need an overhaul now, but the fees really must go along with the crazy plan to hurt working people even further by preventing their union from pursuing personal injury claims on their behalf.
"How much longer can the Conservatives claim to be the party of working people when at every opportunity they are attacking basic rights and draining workers' wallets?"
For further information, please contact Pauline Doyle on 07976 832 861.
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.