Policy News Journal - 2014-15

Employment Tribunal Statistics

18 March 2014

Since the government introduced employment tribunal fees in July 2013, there has been a significant fall in cases.

The Ministry of Justice published its quarterly tribunal statistics report which presents the latest statistics on type and volume of Tribunal cases that are received, disposed of or outstanding in October to December 2013. Responding to the 79 per cent fall in employment tribunal cases – from 45,710 between September and December 2012 to 9,801 cases for the same period last year – since the government introduced a fee for most workers to take cases, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “These figures show that introducing fees for tribunal cases has stopped many people seeking justice. No one will believe that Britain’s workplaces have got fairer overnight. Too many of Britain’s bad bosses are getting away with treating staff badly, confident that the government is on their side. “The big drop in sex discrimination and pregnancy dismissal claims show that it is likely that women are the main losers. But fees are deterring both women and men from taking cases for unpaid wages where the fees are greater than the sums held back by their bosses. Only the very poorest get relief from fees – TUC research shows that more than one in three households containing at least one worker on the minimum wage has to pay £390 to bring an unpaid wage claim. “It is sheer hypocrisy for ministers to suggest that the charges have stopped drawn out disputes and ‘emotional damage’ to workers. Nothing is worse than suffering injustice and knowing that you cannot afford to put it right. “These figures also show why workers should be in a union. While there has been a big fall is in cases brought by individuals, unions are still supporting members who have been treated badly and need to seek justice.”

Disclosure and Barring: Reforms to rehabilitation periods for offenders

21 March 2014

Reforms which will reduce the period during which certain convictions need to be disclosed to potential employers came into effect on 10 March 2014.

HR Bullets provides a very good summary of the changes to Rehabilitation Periods:

Reforms which will reduce the period during which certain convictions need to be disclosed to potential employers will come into effect on 10 March 2014. But those applying to work in sensitive workplaces will continue to have to disclose previous convictions. Legislation in this area was introduced 40 years ago - the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 - with the aim of preventing ex-offenders who have not re-offended for a significant period of time from being denied access to jobs purely on the basis of their past criminal convictions. The general scheme of the Act is that an ex-offender who has not re-offended for a specific length of will be considered ‘rehabilitated’, and the ex-offender will be entitled to present him or herself to employers as if he or she had never been convicted in the first place. Over the years, an ever-increasing list of occupations have been excluded from the

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