The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has attacked the Institute of Directors (IoD) response to Government proposals to introduce fees for employment tribunals as an attack on the basic human rights of individuals to seek justice following the unreasonable actions of employers.
Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said
“The STUC is opposed to charging fees for employment tribunals and we are deeply disappointed, although not surprised, at the Institute of Directors position.
“They continually promote the flawed argument that vexatious claims are an increasing burden on business but never mention the vexatious defences mounted by employers defending cases where they have little chance of success.
“The STUC has discussed these proposals with a number of organisations and for those who use the system regularly the issue and volume of vexatious claims is not the prominent topic the IoD claims it to be.
“There are provisions within the employment tribunals system to discourage vexatious claims such as the power to strike out claims with no foundation. Additionally, awards can be made against the unsuccessful party to discourage parties from proceeding to a hearing where there case has little chance of success and these powers are used.
“Our fear is that these proposals are against natural justice and are potentially challengeable under human rights legislation. We believe that to satisfy the ‘equality of arms’ test, if the Government is intent on charging fees, then the fee should be lodged by both parties and refunded to the successful party at conclusion of proceedings.”
For further information contact Ian Tasker 0141 337 8100