In a press release earlier this week from the Law Society, the organisation representing solicitors throughout England and Wales, John Wotton, president of the Law Society, has strongly criticised the government’s proposals for the introduction of fees for issuing an Employment Tribunal claim or an appeal to the employment appeal tribunal. Mr Wotton described the move is as potentially denying access to justice to those who have recently been sacked who, he claims, would as a result no longer have an effective right to have their case heard at an Employment Tribunal. He continued that “access to justice in employment matters will be confined to those with the means to afford these fees”.
His comments add to those already by a number of industry experts and come the day after the House of Lords rejected six separate parts of the proposed Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill – giving the government a bloody nose on a range of issues including permitting legal aid to remain available for medical reports in medical negligence claim cases. These defeats come hard on the heels of the government’s own concessions in the bill with regard to medical negligence for those children with severe injuries, those victims of domestic violence and domestic child abduction.