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A historic date: Cross-Party Consensus on Employment Tribunal Fees

“I’m a big fan of John Maynard Keynes,” said David Cameron at his surprise announcement about Employment Tribunal Reforms with Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and Nigel Farage. He said ‘When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?’ It’s clear that our policy on Employment Tribunal Fees was a bit of a wrong turn. We all thought there’d be a modest decrease in claims, mostly the weak or vexatious ones, and hard working people who had decent claims would be perfectly happy to rummage down the back of the sofa for £1,200, or borrow from relatives, or maybe do a little part-time prostitution or drug-dealing. But once my advisers showed me the Dunstan Graph I realised we’d got it wrong.”

“Now, I know we’re going into an election, but not everything has to be party political. We’re all on the side of hard working families and we all think that British Business deserves a level playing field where good employers don’t have to worry about unfair competition from rogue businesses who are breaking the law. None of us are in favour of people who break the law (unless they’re our mates, and very wealthy).”

“That’s why I’m delighted to announce that, whatever party wins the election, we intend to repeal Employment Tribunal Fees immediately. It’s just the right thing to do.”

Ed Miliband agreed: “The Labour Party was founded to represent workers, and we’re true to our roots. That’s why we’re determined to make sure workers can access their rights. Tribunal fees prevent people getting access to justice so they’ve got to go. Frankly, the worst possible thing for us to do at the moment would be to focus on meaningless changes to the law that can’t be practically enforced, glib soundbites or hate-mongering against the powerless. There’s a crisis here and it would be real betrayal of the Labour Movement for us to fail to meet it head on.”

Nick Clegg, answering questions about the previously mooted review of Employment Tribunals answered impatiently, “You need a review when it’s not clear what’s going, on or you’re not sure what to do about it. This isn’t like that. We introduced fees, and claims fell off a cliff. I don’t think anyone who knows anything about the situation thinks there’s any other reason for the decline in cases. We got it wrong, but we’re going to fix it.” Asked whether it was possible that ACAS Early Conciliation had anything to do with the decline in case numbers, he refused to answer, saying ‘I’m going to assume that’s a joke. Have you looked at the statistics?’

Nigel Farage said, “UKIP supports this reform. The working man needs access to employment tribunals, in particular to combat the terrible social problem that is discrimination against white middle-aged men who like beer. That’s Intersectionality.”

David Cameron had the last word: “This announcement is about the Employment Tribunal Fees specifically. But, to be totally honest with you, I’m worried about what’s been going on in the Ministry of Justice for this to have gone uncorrected. I’ll be checking that we haven’t done anything else that might have caused serious damage to access to justice.”

6 comments

  1. James

    It’s a sad day when the joke is that our politicians will act with decency, good sense and will do the right thing! Even more sad that my first reaction was that they would never do something like that, followed by checking the date.

  2. Dave Ratchford

    At the risk of quoting Van Morrison on an employment law blog, have I told you guys lately that I love you?
    The satirical piece (that nearly made me fall off my chair when I read the title – I forgot it was April 1st) is not only mildly amusing (hey, you’re lawyers, I’m not going to let you get too swell headed) was also very, very timely and like all good satire in possession of a compelling argument. I rule in your favour!

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