Monday, October 21, 2013

Wake up & smell the Coffee: Do not expect the State to give you Justice at Work

Tomorrow UNISON is taking the Government to court in a judicial review of the decision to charge as much as £1,200 to take your employer to an employment tribunal. If you lose then expect to pay £1,600 to go for any appeal.

This is on top of any solicitor or barrister costs you might have to pay.

As this chart from the Employment Tribunal service indicates claims have not surprisingly dropped like a stone with the imposition of charges. While these figures are provisional it would seem to be clear that only the rich will be able to get justice at work in the future.

Except for union members. I think all the major unions have agreed to pay these charges upfront and supply free legal advice and representation if (and this is important) they think a member has a winnable case.

Remember that you cannot just join a union when you have a problem at work and expect representation.  It is like trying to buy household insurance after you have had a fire. All unions have waiting periods.

So join a union now! If you work in public service then join UNISON of course here 24/7. Or check out the TUC Union finder website.

Best of all is that the more people in your workplace who are in a union, the better you will be treated by your employer and the less likely you will ever need to go to an employment tribunal!

So - as they say over the pond - wake up and smell the coffee. The State will not give you justice at work, the only one who can, is your union.

Hat tip Captain Swing and Daniel Barnett employment law e-news alert.

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