Employment Tribunals: Are there enough judges?

Following the abolition of Employment Tribunal fees an increase in claims brought within the Employment Tribunal is expected, but do we have enough employment judges to deal with them?

The Employment Tribunal Service has released figures showing the amount of claims are on the rise. The most recent statistics confirm that from April to June 2017, single claims accounted for a 2% rise whilst claim disposals fell by 6%.

It has been confirmed that the ETS was already stretched regarding its capacity to deal with existing caseload, as well as the influx of recent cases.

Between April and June 2017, the ETS disposed of around 9,500 cases, down by 34% from the same period in 2016.

In England and Wales there is a predicted number of 110 employment judges, however the ETS continues to lose its judicial resources due to retirement of many judges, without replacements.

This results in a dramatic reduction in the number of ‘sitting days’ in which employment judges can hear a case, ultimately leading to backlogs and delays.

It has been proposed that additional judges will be appointed as first-tier tribunal judges. These judges have limited time however, capped at just 30 days per year.

Each case will need to be dealt with properly and judged by its facts, merits, as well as the parties’ approach to litigation.

Be prepared for a lengthy process.

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