Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

WIN A NEW HYUNDAI i10 - See the EADT on June 8 for full details

Aldeburgh/Laxfield: Winner in unfair dismissal case highlights legal aid cut concerns

17:30 19 June 2014

Aldeburgh Golf Club

Aldeburgh Golf Club

A sacked employee of a Suffolk golf club who received £50,000 after winning an unfair dismissal claim fears legal aid cuts will deny justice to others involved in such cases.

shares

Judge Robin Postle, as reported in Tuesday’s EADT, said that Margaret Chadwick had been the victim of a “witch hunt” at Aldeburgh Golf Club and ruled that her dismissal in October 2012 was unfair.

Although Mrs Chadwick, a grandmother from Laxfield, said the justice system had done her a “wonderful” job, she also highlighted concerns that changes to legal aid would prevent others from fighting back, as she had done, against workplace maltreatment.

“We seem to be going back to a time when the law will no longer be there for us,” she said.

“It’s so unfair. I know there are many people who are made to suffer a dreadful time at work but they can’t do anything about it because they’re too scared of losing their jobs.”

The government introduced fees for employment tribunal cases in July 2013, costing people £250 to lodge claims and £950 if it goes to hearing.

Figures published by the Ministry of Justice last week revealed a 59% drop in the number of employment tribunal claims made over the last quarter and a 79% fall the quarter before that.

Steve Hynes, director of the Legal Action Group, said it was a “ridiculous situation” and praised Mrs Chadwick for using her circumstances to highlight the problem.

“The figures have fallen off a cliff,” he said. “It’s a direct consequence of the changes that have gone on.”

“If the government has any commitment to give access to people who have suffered dismissal it must take action to address this.

“People are missing out and it’s encouraging poor employers to get away with bad employment practices, which is unfair to employees and the vast majority of reputable employers.”

Justice Minister Shailesh Vara said justice reforms were necessary to reduce costs and retain a sustainable system, for those who need it and the taxpayer who pays for it.

“It is in everyone’s interest to avoid drawn-out disputes which emotionally damage workers and financially damage businesses.

“That’s why we are encouraging quicker, simpler and cheaper alternatives like mediation and arbitration,” he said.

“It is not fair for the taxpayer to foot the entire £74m bill for people to escalate workplace disputes to a tribunal. And it is not unreasonable to expect people who can afford to do so, to make a contribution. As for those who cannot afford to pay, fee waivers are available.”

A tribunal ruled Mrs Chadwick had been unfairly dismissed from her role as assistant secretary at the golf club after raising concerns about a colleague’s alleged inappropriate behaviour with a club member.

Both parties “categorically, vehemently and consistently” denied Mrs Chadwick’s allegations.

shares

1 comment

  • a great deal of hot air from this lady, why does she not stand for parliament to have her say?

    Report this comment

    duncan morrison

    Friday, June 20, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Sarah Howard, president of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, and Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, at the celebration marking the first year of work by the New Anglia Growth Hub.

Supporters and staff from the New Anglia Growth Hub today celebrated its first year of work.

B&Q parent Kingfisher said it was ploughing on with a shake-up plan

B&Q parent Kingfisher said today it was ploughing on with a shake-up plan “at pace” as it reported a first quarter slide in sales at the DIY chain.

The new Escape lounge at Stansted Airport.

A new business lounge at Stansted Airport has been used by more than 9,000 visitors in its first month.

Rooney Anand, chief executive of Greene King.

Proposals from pubs and brewing company Greene King designed to address concerns over its agreed acquisition of the Spirit Pub Company look set to be backed by the UK’s competition authority.

Angus Berry, energy manager at Thames Water, and Richard Robey, sales and marketing director at Haven Power.

Haven Power, the specialist supplier of electricity to UK businesses, has signed a deal with Thames Water worth more than £500million over the next five years.

Retail sales are

Retail sales are “bounding ahead” as falling prices and a boost to consumer spending power is giving retailers the most upbeat outlook for 27 years, according to new figures.

A Ryanair passenger plane after take off from Stansted Airport.

Budget airline Ryanair saw profits growth take off last year as a revamp designed to improve its image and attract business customers sent earnings soaring by 66%.

The New Anglia Growth Hub team, including its business growth advisers who offer free support to businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk.

New Anglia Growth Hub has beaten its target of providing support for 3,000 businesses in its first year.

Andrew Rowe, managing director of Concertus.

Andrew Rowe, managing director at Ipswich based Concertus Design & Property Consultants, has been appointed as finance director for SPACES, the new society that has been formed from a merger between SCALA (Society for Construction and Architecture in Local Authorities) and SCEME (Society of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers serving Local Government).

Greene King apprentice Tamara-Leigh Kirkham.

Greene King has been named VQ Large Employer of the Year for 2015, in recognition of its support for members of its workforce undertaking vocational qualifications (VQs).

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages