SINCE the introduction of fees for taking an employment grievance to tribunal Taunton and District CAB has seen a marked decrease in the number of clients going into the bureau to seek advice.

During January/March 2013, 232 clients went to Taunton CAB for advice on employment issues and for the same period this year they have seen a decrease of some 23% .

On July 29 last year the Government introduced fees of up to £1,200 to access the Employment Tribunal.

In the six months from October 2013 to March 2014 there was a 73% drop nationally in claims on the same period the previous year.

Unfair dismissal and withholding wages was the most common issue along with holiday pay.

The complexity of the process, stresses involved and fear of losing jobs also dissuaded people from claiming.

Liz Fothergill, Chief Officer at Taunton CAB said: "We see people visiting us after employers have failed to pay their wages or dismissed them without good reason.

"The Employment Tribunal system must work for all in Taunton Deane and be respected by all parties.

"Fees should not be a barrier between justice and bad employment practices.

"People do not realise that depending on their financial situation they may be able to get help to pay all or part of the fees and we would like to bring to clients attention that there is financial help available."

Anyone wishing information on how to proceed with an employment claim should contact Taunton CAB at St Mary’s House, Magdalene Street.