So, we have an election coming up.
From an employment law perspective, and specifically from a worker’s focus, which of the two main parties will make a real difference to employment law protections, should it win?
Both Labour and Conservative parties promise the protection of existing employment rights and propose the implementation of new ones. In fact, the Conservatives are trying to show themselves to be the worker’s party.
There’s many differences between the two in terms of proposals but one huge difference overall – Tribunal fees. Picture a female employee who is on average earnings and has just been dismissed because she’s pregnant – to bring a claim against her employer and go to hearing, she has to pay £1,200 in ET fees. That’s right – £1,200 – with a new baby and no job. If she wins, she may get those ET fees repaid by the employer but it’s not guaranteed. Not much of an option is it?
Labour have committed to ending ET fees. The Conservatives have committed to keeping them. Both parties offer new rights – however, as long as we have crippling ET fees, any new rights may be unenforceable in reality. The key to any rights is the ability to enforce them – ultimately, if needs be, to go to Tribunal.
From a Claimant lawyer’s viewpoint, then, abolition of ET fees is the key difference.