Following on from our recent article concerning the 165% increase in tribunal claims, it has been revealed that in some areas Employment Tribunals (ET's) are listing final hearings 12 - 18 months after receipt of the initial claim form.
At the Employment Tribunal National User Group, the President explained that in some regions it is taking 12 - 18 months to list open track cases for final hearing, which requires hearings of five days and over.
The delay for hearings to be listed has been apportioned to both the increase in claims following the abolition of tribunal fees, as well as the reduced number of salaried judges. The President commented that it is harder to list longer hearings as fee-paid judges and lay members find it more difficult to commit to multi-day proceedings. It is also interesting to note that while single claims to ET's have increased by 165% in the most recent quarter, the number of claims would have needed to rise by 200% to meet the pre-fees position.
In relation to the shortage of salaried judges, it was reported that the Judicial Appointments Commission are in the process of appointing 54 full time salaried judges at the ET, with the appointments due to be announced in January 2019. It may be that the additional appointments will increase the speed within which ET claims are listed and heard.