As you may have seen from our posts and the news yesterday, the Supreme Court have ruled that charging Claimants to submit their claims to the Employment Tribunal is unlawful. This was news I had hoped for, rather than expected, and was most welcome.
Having reflected overnight, the whole situation has a bittersweet element for me. At Lincs Law, we offer a free telephone consultation to anyone who has a workplace problem. Inevitably, this means we receive lots of phone calls from people who are struggling with their employer. I have always found it very difficult, following the stories I have heard and the distress of the people calling, to then explain that although their employer has undoubtedly breached their employment rights, it will cost them up to £1,200 of their savings to be able to enforce those rights.
Thinking over the past few weeks, I have had to have this conversation with:-
• a young person in their first job after leaving school suffering disability discrimination;
• a careworker working excessive hours on minimum wage and then having her pay withheld;
• a gentleman who was unfairly dismissed having been called in to Human Resources and minutes later escorted out of his workplace of 40 years;
• a lady who had done absolutely nothing wrong, but for whatever reason her ‘face did not fit’ with a new manager; and,
• a gentleman who was unfairly dismissed having reported breaches of health and safety at his workplace.
These people will now be able to bring their claims at the Employment Tribunal. However, even from the personal experience of myself and my colleagues, we are aware of so many people for whom this ruling has come just too late.
I also think about those people who settled their claims for much less than they were worth, simply because they were not able to find the £950 hearing fee necessary to have their matter heard at the Employment Tribunal. Such a significant amount of money with no guarantee of recovery places a significant risk upon the most vulnerable.
I have spent a great deal of today contacting clients past and present to reassure them that as soon as we have information about how their Employment Tribunal fees can be reclaimed, we will be informing them of how to do so. Whilst this is one of the more pleasant jobs I have had to do, my sympathies remain with the people for whom this ruling has come too late.
If you have an Employment Law issue, please call us for a free no obligation consultation on 01522 539501. Alternatively, if you would like to find out more about Lincs Law solicitors and what we do, please visit our website at www.lincslaw.co.uk. As your local specialist Employment Law Solicitors, we want to help.
Specialist Employment Law Solicitor
Lincs Law Solicitors, Lincoln.