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Employment Tribunal Fees

Volume 608: debated on Thursday 14 April 2016

14. What discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on the effect of the introduction of employment tribunal fees on access to justice for women who have experienced discrimination at work. (904456)

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that there is a post-implementation review of the introduction of fees in employment tribunals. That will consider, so far as is possible, the impact the fees have had on those with protected characteristics who use employment tribunals, as well as the types of case they bring.

The review has apparently been on the Minister’s desk since February, so I hope we get to hear the outcome soon. According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, less than 1% of maternity discrimination claims now proceed to an employment tribunal. That means that 99 out of every 100 women who are discriminated against because of their pregnancy have no legal redress. Is he proud of that record or ashamed?

Pregnancy and maternity discrimination are unlawful and totally unacceptable. That is why the Government and the Equality and Human Rights Commission jointly funded independent research into the matter. I assure the hon. Gentleman that the review will take into account some of the findings of that research.