Paul Blomfield MP

Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central

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Government is pricing low paid workers out of justice

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I today warned the Government that employment tribunal fees are pricing workers out of securing justice against bad employers. 

I spoke after the House of Common’s Justice Select Committee published a damning report into the impact of employment tribunal fees since 2013. The fees have seen a significant reduction in tribunal applications across the board. The report was also particularly critical of the Government for failing to publish its own post-implementation review (which started in June 2015).

At Justice Questions I asked the Minister:

The Justice Select Committee has expressed concern that many judges have reported that they now hear no money claims, which were often brought by workers in low paid sectors and which often succeeded. So when will the Government publish the review of the impact of Employment Tribunal fees – which is now 6 months overdue – and act to restore justice for low paid workers?

In response to my question, the Justice Minister Sir Oliver Heald said that the Government would deal with the issue “in due course.” It was clear that MPs were shocked by the Minister’s response to my question and other MPs followed by pushing for publication of the report. It says everything about this Government's attitude to tackling abusive employers. Despite Theresa May’s warm words, it’s just not a priority. The only winners are bad employers who know they can mistreat workers who can’t afford the fees to take them to court.

You can watch my exchange with the Government Minister here.

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