MINISTERS were accused last night of “dealing in alternative facts” as they claimed workers were not losing out from a sharp fall in employment tribunal claims.
A government review into the impact of tribunal fees said the higher than anticipated drop in the number of cases was a “positive outcome.”
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said the review exposed how the new regime had been “a gift to Britain’s worse bosses.”
Figures reveal sharp falls in challenges over sex discrimination, which have declined by 71 per cent, race discrimination (down 55 per cent) and disability discrimination (down 51 per cent).
Justice Minister Sir Oliver Heald said: “It is right that those who can afford to should contribute to the cost of employment tribunals.”
But Unite general secretary Len McCluskey stormed: “The government is dealing in alternative facts to claim that both the fall in employment tribunal applications is greater than they anticipated and that people are not losing out.
“The actual facts are that when working people are priced out of justice, and it is made exceptionally difficult for their unions to pursue it on their behalf, then the only winners are bad employers.”
Yesterday’s government review said that the fees, which can add up to as much as £1,200 per claim, had led to many more cases being taken instead to conciliation service Acas.
The fees were introduced in 2013, and the same year public sector union Unison mounted a legal challenge in an attempt to overturn the policy.
Unison leader Dave Prentis said: “Women have been the biggest losers, bad bosses the undoubted winners.
“The government originally said making people pay would weed out vexatious claims. All it’s done is punish lower paid employees with genuine grievances.”
Civil Service union PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said the review had been “slipped out while MPs are debating Brexit” to avoid extensive coverage.