From the TUC

Access to justice cuts: Reaping what you sow

15 Apr 2014, By

Probably the area where workers’ rights have been hardest hit by the current government is the ability to claim damages through the courts.

Since the election the government has removed the legal system that allowed workers to pursue claims and receive all their damages. Now they may have to pay up to 25% of their damages in costs.

They have also introduced charges for taking a claim to an Employment Tribunal and slashed legal aid.

It is therefore incredible that a Conservative MP is complaining that he has to pay £130,000 in legal fees after being acquitted of criminal charges. Before his arrest, Nigel Evans made statements about the need to cut legal aid and admitted he would probably have voted for the last round of cuts in 2011 had he not been Deputy Speaker at the time.

Of course it is wrong that an acquitted man should have to pay a penny. The difference between him and many others is that he had the money to pay for top legal counsel. Most people do not.

And it is also wrong that, as a result of the actions of him and his party, workers have to pay a proportion of their compensation in legal costs when they are injured at work through no fault of their own and workers who are sacked for being a safety rep have to pay for the privilege of taking their employer to court.

The Tories had absolutely no concern about the effect that their changes would have on injured workers, those seeking justice from their employers, or even those accused of a crime. It is only now, that one of their own has suffered that we hear the call for change.

Please forgive me if I do not shed a tear.

One Response to Access to justice cuts: Reaping what you sow

  1. Malcolm Smailes
    Apr 15th 2014, 12:48 pm

    My company have had a ‘Mental Well-being’ Policy since 2005.

    As part of my mission for the company to accept that bus driving can be a very stressful job, I looked into this policy.
    It states that they will train there managers and supervisors to recognize the signs of stress and do risk assessments on any stressors that may be found. It would seem that it was only last year 2013, after I first inquired, that they have now started to train a couple of line managers and a couple of engineering managers. I found out that this was just a 2 hr talk from one of the companies OHP. The Doctor did not mention anything to do with the chemical released into the brain which shuts down the decision making part of the brain, fight or flight it is called. So I am not very impressed and I will continue to make such fuss as needed for them to implement exactly what they have written into their Mental Well-being policy and also try to get them to undertake to train our new drivers about how to recognize the signs of stress and to self help themselves before the need for counseling arises.