Workers in England will continue to be treated differently to those in Scotland, since the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees in 2013 there has been a significant drop in claims, as workers struggle to find the funds to take their case to tribunal after being made unemployed, many unfairly.
Workers in Scotland will soon have the financial restrictions on taking their case to Employment Tribunal lifted, we will campaign to have those same restrictions lifted in England.
Tribunal fees to be abolished in Scotland
The Scottish Government has announced its intention to abolish Employment Tribunal fees in Scotland. This commitment is set out in its 2015/16 programme for government, although the timetable for doing so is presently unclear.
It is anticipated that the power to administer Scotland’s own Employment Tribunal system will be transferred from Westminster to Holyrood when legislation is passed to give effect to the Smith Commission recommendations on further devolution of powers to Scotland. Therefore, Employment Tribunal fees cannot be abolished in Scotland until the current Scotland Bill is passed by the Westminster parliament and receives Royal Assent.
The introduction of Employment Tribunal fees, and particularly the levels at which these fees have been set, has been subject to much criticism since their introduction in July 2013. Statistics demonstrate a significant drop in Employment Tribunal applications since fees were introduced, although to date all legal challenges to the fees regime have failed.
The UK government has promised a review of the level of Employment Tribunal fees, but there is now a real prospect of significantly different arrangements operating in England and Wales, as compared to Scotland.
The power to make all employment laws and regulations in Scotland is still reserved to the Westminster parliament.
ACAS publishes guidance on sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace
ACAS has published new guidance to help employers understand and deal with issues relating to sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace.
The stated aim of the guidance is to offer “… employers, senior managers, line mangers, HR personnel, employees and employee/trade union representatives an insight into how sexual orientation discrimination can occur in the workplace, how it can be dealt with and how to reduce the chance of future discrimination”.
You can read the guidance here:
Employment Law News