The ‘problem’ with the Employment Tribunal System: reform, rhetoric and realities for the clients of Citizens’ Advice Bureaux

Kirk, E. (2018) The ‘problem’ with the Employment Tribunal System: reform, rhetoric and realities for the clients of Citizens’ Advice Bureaux. Work, Employment and Society, 32(6), pp. 975-991. (doi:10.1177/0950017017701077)

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Abstract

Successive reforms of the Employment Tribunal System, based upon the interlinked assumptions that there are too many claims and that it is too easy for people with nothing to lose to lodge deliberately vexatious claims in the hope of a large payout, have made it progressively more difficult to bring claims against employers. This article challenges these persistent, though unsubstantiated assumptions, used to justify weakening employment rights enforcement and further deregulate the labour market. It draws upon the experiences of 158 clients of Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, who were tracked over the course of their disputes, as they sought to resolve work-related grievances. Among this group, it can be argued that rather than too many, too few claims go forward, discouraged by the real and imagined costs of making a claim. Financial compensation is usually the only (less than satisfactory) remedy offered.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kirk, Dr Eleanor
Authors: Kirk, E.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Journal Name:Work, Employment and Society
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:0950-0170
ISSN (Online):1469-8722
Published Online:19 June 2017

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