Triple whammy for workers rights as Coalition limit compensation payments

Cable2The Coalition really don’t like employees taking action against their bosses, do they? Not content with introducing a £250 fee to take out an Employment Tribunal case, the Government is set to abolish the questionnaire where bosses are currently obliged to give details of their policies.

Now I learn the business secretary Vince Cable is planning to reduce compensation payments to people who actually win their tribunal case.

This triple whammy amounts to a serious attack on workers rights. First, there is little evidence to suggest that employees take unfounded cases to the tribunal. The small minority that do hardly justifies penalising the vast majority who have a genuine case to take forward, regardless of whether they win or not.

Secondly, the questionnaire has proven invaluable to staff taking out discrimination cases. Discrimination – on grounds of race, gender, age or sexuality – is very difficult to prove but we all know that it is pretty widespread and everyone who suffers from it deserves an opportunity to seek justice. The questionnaire has helped many workers prove their case based on the answers given by their bosses. Now it is being removed in Vince’s Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill because it is unnecessary bureaucracy, apparently.

Both these measures will act as a significant deterrent to workers who have suffered a genuine injustice and may have suffered greatly at the hands of terrible employers.

On top of that reducing compensation payments to those who actually win their tribunal cases , payments which in most cases are pretty low anyway, send out all the wrong signals to workers across Britain and suggests that politicians would rather they suffer in silence or just leave quietly only for their bosses to inflict bad behaviour on their successors.

Instead of restricting opportunities for wronged workers to challenge bullying and discrimination, justice ministers should be tackling the growing scandal of the blacklisting of employers in the construction and other industries, and legislate to prevent businesses snooping into peoples’ private lives on Facebook to inform their decisions over who to hire and promote.

We hear a lot about building a stronger economy and a fairer society. Protecting workers rights does not damage the economy but eroding those rights certainly makes us a less fair society.

By Lester Holloway @brolezholloway


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0 thoughts on “Triple whammy for workers rights as Coalition limit compensation payments

  1. Why do you remain in membership of a party and leadership which props-up these policies?
    It is not use you simply complaining – what action are YOU going to take?

    1. I’m not going to quit, if that’s what you’re asking. I’m staying to be part of the fight for the soul of this party, which is what I work very hard towards. My external writing might seem like a whinge, but there is more going on behind the scenes. Yesterday, for example, I took part in a conference call with a minister where I told him directly what I thought of Clegg’s immigration speech.

  2. “Secondly, the questionnaire has proven invaluable to staff taking out discrimination cases. Discrimination – on grounds of race, gender, age or sexuality – is very difficult to prove”

    No, race discrimination is not hard to prove in an employment tribunal. You only have to look at the British Government’s Cabinet to see that it is all white. The Cabinet is not a true reflection of the United Kingdom today.

    The RRA Questionnaire had already been undermined as far back as 2004 when New Labour under Tony Blair changed employment law to operate as it is today. The questionnaire was not treated with any respect in any employment tribunals since then.

    Very recently, I made a claim to the London Central Employment Tribunal claim number: 2200251/1013 in January 2013. My aplication was accepted and I informed in my original application that I will send the reasons for my claim. I sent the reasons on the 7th of February 2013. The Tribunal are expected to forward this on to the Respondent’s which they did. The Respondents responded to the Tribunal on 13 February 2013. ACAS were supposed to be advised as neutral concilliators.

    The Tribunal were supposed to have forwarded on a copy of the ET3 response from the Respondent’s to me. I waited on the ET3 response to be sent to me. I contacted both ACAS and the London Central Employment Tribunals Service for the latest on the ET3, and both parties ignored me.

    I went to the Tribunal in person on Thursday 21st March 2013. I used the internal phone in the Tribunal’s reception to contact them and was on it for six minutes before someone answered it. A male member of their staff answered in a very rude and lackadaisical manner. I inqiured about my claim and found out that the ET3 response was gathering dust in the Tribunal until when I went in person to inquire about it.

    I am sure that anyone who reads this will understand that the service in Employment Tribunals is getting worse; especially towards black claimants.

    The politicians today are following the system set up by New Labour in 2004; the same system that has made Tony Blair the richest ex. prime minister ever. The people voted in politicians to represent them properly; not rich financial and insurance institutions or big business in general. As long as these institutions are paying your government ministers and elected MPs, they will continue to wring every bit they can out of us because of the payments they (MPs) are receiving from them.

    Please, read a petition I have put up on the governments epetition web page: If you agree with it, kindly give your support towards it.

  3. In support of my post above, the introduction of the ‘Burden of Proof’ for race discrimination claims by Tony Blair’s government was meant to negate the Race Relations Act 1976. Tony Blair is today the richest ex. British prime minister ever. Some present employees – including the present prime minister – are trying to emulate his feat through pilitical lobbying.

    Stories like this one: by a back bench MP is very discouraging. Putting a stop to MPs profitting in this way will attract the right people to represent us in the right way.

    The Leveson Inquiry might be an underhand way of controlling the press to allow this type of corruption from making the news. The time has come for people to be more involved in politics as these generation of politicians are only interested in lining their own pockets.

    1. “these generation of politicians”

      My sincere apologies for my grammer error. I meant to say: “this generation of politicians.”

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