CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES has spoken out in the Assembly against UK Government plans to introduce fees for employment tribunals in North Wales.
The AM raised the issue with the Welsh Government in the Senedd on Wednesday. In response Counsel General Theodore Huckle said he had made representations to the UK Government opposing plans to introduce fees of up to £1,200 for individuals taking claims to a tribunal.
The AM said it was grossly unfair to workers and would allow unscrupulous bosses in North Wales to flout the law.
Under UK Government proposals being consulted upon cases involving unpaid wages and redundancy pay will have an initial fee of £160 and a charge of £230 if it goes to a hearing, while those relating to unfair dismissal, discrimination complaints and equal pay claims will have an issue fee of £250 and a hearing fee of £950.
CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES, said:
“The government’s plans to introduce fees for Employment Tribunals are nothing short of a disgrace. The cost could be up to as much as £1,200 and would seriously deter people from pursuing legitimate claims against their employer.
“Working people in North Wales have fought hard over many years to get the employment rights they deserve. To have them eroded through the back door via the imposition of large fees is a retrograde step that will only damage the economy in the long-term.
“Everyone deserves fair access to justice and the protection of knowing that if they are mistreated at work they can get a fair hearing at a tribunal. However now, many of North Wales’ most vulnerable workers will be priced out of justice.
“The big worry is that an unscrupulous few will see take as an indication that as employers they can flout the law and ignore the vital mediation process that comes before a tribunal. If these plans go ahead, it will be bad news for workers in my constituency.”
The Counsel General said the Welsh Government were ‘as a matter of principle’ opposed to the introduction of fees and that if they are brought in should be kept as low as possible.