13 November 2021

PCS launches consultative ballot after HMCTS threatens 3,000 job losses with new digital platform

Court staff will be asked whether they are opposed to new cases being placed on the Common Platform and that they support the union in its demands for proper health and safety checks.

Work related stress and anxiety levels from using the new system are "through the roof" according to union reps and HMCTS has failed in their legal duty to carry out an organisational risk assessment.

The ballot will open Monday 15 November and run until December 2.

Common Platform is a system designed to allow all participants in a case to access their information digitally.

However, since its introduction in September last year, it has been beset by technical problems and delays, slowing the progress of cases.

There is already a significant backlog caused by years of under investment which has been aggravated by a combination of the global Covid pandemic and staff shortages.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "HMCTS have launched a system which is not fit for purpose and has caused staff huge levels of stress and anxiety.

"Instead of dealing with the real problems in the justice system, such as staff shortages and court closures, they are relying on a flawed system to muddle through.

"This won't wash with the thousands of our members who are set to lose their jobs because of the Common Platform. They have had enough and will now have their voice heard.

"Depending on the result of the consultative ballot, we will not rule out an industrial action ballot in the future."