Increased Delays in the Employment Tribunal
25th July, 2019
In July 2017 the Supreme Court decided that fees in Employment Tribunals were unlawful.
Since this time there has been a surge in claims which has created a backlog. This means that in certain regions, Claimants are waiting significantly longer for hearing dates.
The Law Society has cited that the Ministry of Justice received over 9,500 single claims between January and March 2019 in England and Wales – which is double the number of claims received in the period January – March 2017. Further, the Ministry of Justice stated that there has been an 8% increase in outstanding cases compared to the previous 12 months. For multiple claims, these figures are up by 13% with 19,000 claims received between January and March 2019.
In 2017, The Law Society reported that tribunals were struggling to hit timescale targets to dispose of cases and judges were leaving without being replaced. To address this HM Courts and Tribunal service decided to recruit over 50 judges for the Employment Tribunal. The recruitment of more judges will allow for more cases to be heard and reduce the waiting time.
Further, there is a focus on mediation, which encourages parties to settle their dispute at an early stage. One of the many advantages of early resolution is that it will free the court timetable to allow other cases to be heard earlier than scheduled.
Hopefully, as a result of the recruitment of more Employment Tribunal Judges and the increased use of mediation, we will see a reduction in the delay and timetable for case hearings in the future.
If you would like to find out more about this topic, contact Claire Brook, Employment Law Partner.