UK Government must abolish tribunal fees

Lanark and Hamilton East MP, Angela Crawley, has this week reiterated her call for employment tribunal fees to be scrapped.

Her latest effort comes after the Justice Committee published its review into court and tribunal fees. The review found that since the introduction of fees there has been a drop of almost 70% in the number of cases brought. It also found that major changes are urgently needed to restore an acceptable level of access to the employment tribunals system.

Speaking in a Westminster debate, Angela said “Since the introduction of employment tribunal fees in 2013, there has been a huge decline in the number of tribunal fee claims.

“If there was a need for evidence that the tribunal fees system is not working, that is it.

“Scottish women may soon face fewer barriers when they exercise their employment rights and seek access to justice – but the same cannot be said for other women across the UK.

“It is time for someone to stand up for hard-working women and other workers across this country and to demand equal access to justice for everyone across the UK.

“Budget deficit reduction should never come before access to justice.”

Since her election Angela has been a strong advocate for employment rights, calling repeatedly on the Government to abolish employment tribunal fees as a means to increase to justice – particularly for pregnant women and new mothers.

Commenting after the debate, Angela said:

“Employment Tribunal Fees are a huge pressure on someone that has been forced out of work – effectively acting as a barrier to justice for the most vulnerable individuals in our society.

“It’s welcome that when the powers come to Scotland, the SNP will abolish the charges. But women have been denied access to justice for too long – they should not have to wait any longer.

“George Osborne recently announced that he will no longer be pursuing an unnecessary budget surplus – he should drop his addiction to austerity too.

“Employment rights are too important to play political games with. The Government must see the writing on the wall and finally come to their senses.”