Vince Cable has privately clashed with the Tory justice secretary, Chris Grayling, over an alarming drop in the number of sexual discrimination cases being heard at employment tribunals since the government attached a fee to seeking legal redress…
In a letter to Grayling, Cable wrote: “The fair and effective operation of the employment tribunals system is vital to the successful enforcement of employment rights for which my department is responsible.
“The quid pro quo of my party supporting the Conservative proposal to introduce employment tribunal fees was that we should conduct a rigorous review within a year of their introduction, to determine whether there had been any unwanted consequences and to ensure no one was deterred from legitimate access to justice.
“Despite much prompting from my officials and Jo Swinson [Liberal Democrat minister for employment relations], including at cabinet, 18 months have now passed and nothing has happened. I am concerned that we appear as a government to have reneged on our public commitment to conduct this review.” He wrote: “You gave assurances during parliamentary debates that the Ministry of Justice would monitor the impact of the proposals on women and other vulnerable groups and that the reviews would take place regularly and on an ongoing basis. This is not happening either.
“This review now needs to be progressed as a matter of urgency … I have instructed my officials to initiate a review of employment tribunal fees based on all the publicly available data and research on the impact of fees in employment tribunals.”