Employers exaggerate compensation culture, claims TUC

The TUC has hit out at employers’ campaign to cut compensation

Employers are getting away with as many as 750,000 breaches
of employment law without facing a Tribal hearing every year, claimed Brendan
Barber, deputy general secretary of the TUC, today at the congress in Brighton.

He said, “I am fed up listening to employers griping about a
so-called compensation culture. Tribunal claims don’t arise because sacked
workers are ‘having a punt’. Only around 30,000 claims go to a full Tribunal

“Meanwhile as many as three-quarters of a million times a
year employers get away with actions that could land them in a Tribunal.”

To coincide with the debate the TUC has published a briefing
on ‘compensation culture’ myths that shows that only one in 800 people at work
took a grievance to a tribunal hearing last year.

While there has been an increase in tribunal cases, the main
cause has not been new rights introduced by the current government, but the
growth of small businesses which lack fair procedures for dealing with staff,
said Barber.

Further bulges in statistics are caused by the inability of
the tribunal system to hear test cases. The increase in cases last year was
almost wholly accounted for by 9,000 identical claims by retained (part-time)
fire fighters, claiming discrimination compared to full-time fire fighters.

Despite headlines for a few big awards, the median award for
unfair dismissal is £2,515 and for discrimination £2,180, claimed Barber.

The TUC supports measures that will reduce the number of tribunal
cases if they encourage employers to adopt better and fairer systems for
dealing with staff or encourage fair settlement of cases without the need for a
formal hearing.


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