Labour Party Announcement

Friday 19th September 2014

On 8 September 2014, the Shadow Secretary of State for BIS, Chuka Umunna MP, delivered a speech to the TUC Congress in which he said that, if elected, Labour would undertake major reforms of the Employment Tribunal system.  He said that the introduction of fees in Employment Tribunals has curtailed individuals’ access to justice and that they are “unfair” and “unsustainable” and that Labour would “abolish the current system, reform the Employment Tribunals and put in place a new system”, although no further details were provided.

The Financial Times reports that it is likely that Labour will not eradicate fees but will, instead, introduce better means testing. This message suggests that the Tribunal system would remain and that much of the speech was just political spin. Edward believes this is a shame as if Mr Umunna had said they would withdraw fees in full it would have been a stronger message!

Mr Umunna also said in the same speech that Labour would “outlaw exploitative zero hours contracts” which, on the face of it, is a clear message of intent. Although, I note he didn’t say all zero hours contracts just “exploitative” ones so we’ll have to wait and see.

If you would like to discuss this announcement further, please contact a member of our employment team.