Tribunal Fees A Denial Of Justice!

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Carillion workers marching in Swindon – the battle for ‘justice’ becoming harder and harder
Carillion workers marching in Swindon – the battle for ‘justice’ becoming harder and harder

GMB members will hold a protest outside the Central London Employment Tribunals to coincide with the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees on Monday, 29th July.

The protest will be held at 10.30am outside the tribunals office, Victory House, 30-34 Kingsway, London WC2B 6EX.

Fees apply to all Employment Tribunal applications registered after 28th July 2013.

In order to register a claim at an Employment Tribunal after that date, an individual must pay a registration fee of either £160 (for a level one claim such as an unlawful deduction from wages or a failure to provide a written statement of terms and conditions) or £250 (for a level two claim such as discrimination or unfair dismissal) followed by a hearing fee of either £230 (for level one claims) and £850 (for level two claims).

There is no guarantee that the fee will be refunded in the event of a successful claim.

Andy Prendergast, GMB Senior Organiser, said: ‘The imposition of such fees represents the latest in a number of attacks of employment rights by the government.

‘With the introduction of employment tribunal fees, the government has given a green light to bad employers to continue exploiting their staff.

‘While GMB will pay the fees of all cases affecting its members, the charging of up to £1,200 effectively means that many workers will lose any chance they had to seek redress if they are poorly treated.

‘They will be denied justice if they are discriminated against or if they are unfairly dismissed.

‘It will become uneconomical to try to recover underpayments and, as such, provide a huge incentive for business to up profits at their employees’ expense.’

Prendergast stressed that tribunal fees ‘do not lead to job creation, they do not lead to a stronger economy, they lead to exploitation and insecurity.’

• The GMB has warned of a possible August Bank Holiday weekend baggage handlers strike at Stansted Airport.

The result of an industrial action ballot of GMB members working for baggage screening contractor Mitie at London Stansted airport will be known on 12th August.

A self-funding pay offer – that would have seen the 39 GMB members who operate the industrial baggage scanners at Stansted losing the time-and-a-half overtime premium that would significantly cut their earnings – was rejected by 100 per cent of the members in a consultative ballot.

Gary Pearce, GMB Organiser, said: ‘Mitie operate the baggage scanning contract on a shoestring and as there are too few staff, GMB members work a lot of overtime to make sure that the job gets done.

‘Mite is hoping GMB members will agree to use their own money to fund the pay offer by reducing the overtime premium to the basic rate and making out it’s a pay rise.

‘The pay negotiations started in November last year and Mite is also looking for an eighteen-month deal by moving the due date of the next pay rise.

‘The result of the ballot will be known on Monday, 12th August, and GMB expects a vote for action. If this is the case, the first action will likely take place over the August Bank Holiday weakend.’