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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Lloyd and Eastbourne CAB put pressure on Justice Minister in Westminster

December 12, 2013 4:06 PM

Stephen Lloyd MP met with representatives from Citizen's Advice, including the Eastbourne Manager Alan Bruzon, to lobby Justice Minister Shaliesh Vara MP over the issue of Unpaid Employment Tribunals.

In early November, a damning report released by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) found that only 49% of people received payment in full following a successful claim at an Employment Tribunal. Following this, Stephen asked the Department for Justice to meet with CAB.

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) Undersecretary Shaliesh Vara MP then met with a number of interested parties including Stephen Lloyd; some of his MP colleagues who sit on the CAB All Party Parliamentary Group, which Stephen chairs; representatives from BIS; the CBI; Employment Lawyers; Trade Associations, the TUC; and members of CAB, including Alan Bruzon from the Eastbourne local office who was there to share his first hand experiences. The meeting was constructive with all agreeing that this longstanding unfairness where rogue employers simply do not bother to pay out needed to be fixed, and at Stephen's suggestion, the MOJ have agreed to hold further meetings with the group so some solid solutions can be worked out.

Many Eastbourne residents have suffered at the hands of one particularly unscrupulous employer, who was repeatedly found guilty of exploiting his staff, and failing to pay up. Express Construction Cleaners, who have since disappeared from Eastbourne, were serial offenders. They had been taken to tribunal and lost numerous times, and because of a lack of enforcement, the staff never received payment.

Shaleish Vara MP from the Ministry of Justice said: "Fixing this enduring problem is a priority of mine and I look forward to working with Stephen and the CAB to find ways to square this circle. It is a very complex issue but I am hopeful with the commitments of the other departments and organisations, we will find a way to right this injustice."

Stephen Lloyd MP said: "It was a very constructive meeting and I am glad we are finally making some progress on this historic issue. It was very important to get a commitment from the Minister and their agreement to work through this issue with us over the next few months is encouraging. There are thousands of people across the country and at least 30 in Eastbourne alone who have been ripped off by unscrupulous employers and have nothing to show for it. This is simply not right, and I look forward to working with the Government to get some long overdue justice."

Alan Bruzon, Manager of Eastbourne Citizen's Advice Bureau, said "I was very pleased to be included in this meeting and share my knowledge of the extent of this problem with the Minister. He seems genuinely concerned and I am hopeful that now we will be able to work together and find a solution. Something needs to be done to make these awards more easily enforceable. I am pleased to see that the MOJ have joined BIS in recognising the size of the problem and I look forward to helping all parties come to an agreement as soon as possible."