The TUC has hit back at claims by business groups that the tribunal system is in “dire need of reform”, saying that it is a myth that workers use it vexatiously.
The TUC has urged the Government to stand firm in the face of employer lobbying, adding that a number of claims put forward by business groups are misleading.
According to the TUC, the vast majority of the recent increase in employment tribunal cases are due to a 90% rise in multiple claims, rather than those made by individual employees.
It added that proposals, such as extending the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims from one to two years, would deter many genuinely wronged individuals from seeking justice.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “While employer groups complain that tribunals are costing them too much, they seem to have lost sight of the fact that if firms treated their staff as they are meant to, few would ever find themselves taken to court.”
Alan Ritchie, general secretary of UCATT, also spoke out against proposals to extend the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims. “This amounts to a ‘sackers’ charter’, allowing unscrupulous employers to hire and fire workers at will,” he said.
The Government faced further criticism from trade union Unite on the BBC’s Today programme this morning, when Len McCluskey, general secretary-designate of Unite, accused the Prime Minister of “bashing workers” and defended protests against the Government’s spending cuts.
“I am not calling for the Government to be brought down, but we have a right to demonstrate against their decisions,” he explained.
“It is our duty to protest if we feel the Government is doing something wrong.”