A charter for the unscrupulous

The Tory/Lib-Dem Government introduced an anti-worker law at the end of last month which affects employees who suffer discrimination or unfair dismissal.

Claiming unfair dismissal will cost the sacked worker £250 to lodge a claim and a further £950 for their case to be heard.

Just imagine that you have been sacked unfairly – you have no job and no earnings, you still need to pay rent and taxes and feed your family. If you are lucky enough to find another job and wish to claim unfair dismissal from the first employer, you will have to pay £1,200, which is not refundable – even if you are successful.

This is a charter for unscrupulous bosses to get away with doing what they want to employees with no regard for employment laws. Who will have access to £1,200 when they have just lost their job?

Seeking redress for unfair dismissal, discrimination and any other injustices in the workplace is a fundamental human right – but now we have ministers putting up insurmountable financial hurdles for working people in pursuit of natural justice.

The Scottish Government has a duty to waive these charges for workers north of the border, but we have heard of no intentions of it doing so. This is despite reading the columns of Christine Grahame and John Lamont in your paper on a weekly basis where they profess to be so-called champions of the ordinary worker – and yet not a cheep about this injustice from any of them.

The STUC has written to the Scottish Parliament asking them not to charge – will they agree with the STUC or the Tory/Lib-Dems in London?

I assisted my sister-in-law with her case against her employer, a well-known Galashiels firm, in her claim for unfair dismissal after 22 years’ service, which she won.

Had this employment court application been made after July 30 instead of before, it is more than likely that employer would have got away scot-free as there is no way she would have been able to find that type of money to proceed with her claim. The employer doesn’t require any financial commitment to defend the case, so they are, in the main, win-win.

Every worker should challenge their MP/MSP to support the scrapping of this prohibitive sum and every one of our elected representatives should hang their heads in shame if they do nothing, as I suspect, to remove this unfair financial obstruction to fairness and justice for ordinary people.

Rab Stewart

Roberts Avenue