Enforcement of Employment Rights by EU-8 Migrant Workers in Employment Tribunals

10 Aug 2017

As migrant workers, EU-8 nationals enjoy a right to equal treatment with nationals in respect of their terms and conditions of employment. While some employers have tried to meet their legal obligations towards EU-8 nationals, others have taken advantage of these workers and have denied them their employment rights under UK law. In this paper we explore how EU-8 migrants make use of Employment Tribunals to enforce their employment rights. How many cases do they bring before Employment Tribunals, and what are they about? Are claims brought alone or with support, and if so, from whom? How are EU-8 workers treated once they are before a Tribunal and how successful are their claims? If there is evidence that EU-8 migrants are successfully bringing claims to enforce their employment rights, then fears about undercutting and exploitation of vulnerable workers are perhaps less serious than they would first appear. If they are not, then concerns about (mis)treatment are justified and prompt the further question as to how their rights could be better protected in practice, particularly given the introduction of fees for accessing Employment Tribunals.