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Next labour government to scrap current employment tribunal system

Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna has said that the next Labour Government will scrap the Government’s employment tribunal system and replace it with a fairer one that doesn’t deter employees who have been treated unfairly at work from making a claim.

Addressing TUC Congress, Mr Umunna said that the current system which saw the introduction of fees last year for people taking a case to tribunal, has prevented the poorest and most vulnerable employees from upholding their rights.

Since the change was made, the number of tribunal claims has fallen by some 80%. Claims regarding age discrimination and pregnancy-related unfair dismissal have fallen by 26 per cent while claims against breaches of the Working Time Directive have fallen by 94 per cent.

Mr Umunna claims Labour will seek a wider reform of the tribunals system, streamlining it to work better for both employees and employers. "We have fought to defend people’s rights and voice in opposition but these rights are only meaningful if you can get proper redress.  The current employment tribunal system is unfair, unsustainable and has resulted in prohibitive costs locking people out of the justice they are entitled to.

"Affordability should not be a barrier to workplace justice. But it would be a mistake to simply return to the system of the past, where tribunals were so slow that meaningful justice was not available.

"So if we are elected the next Labour Government will abolish the current system, reform the employment tribunals and put in place a new system which ensures all workers have proper access to justice.”

For information about making a claim at employment tribunal, please contact Ashley Hunt, Vaishali Thakerar or Carrie-Ann Randall at Lawson-West employment law specialists on 0116 212 1000.

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