Employment Tribunal Delays - a year to get a hearing!
5 Sept 2023
Latest reports from HMCTS show an increase in recent years to 651,000 open tribunal cases in 2023, 5% higher than the previous year, while the number of cases withdrawn, settled, dismissed, or decided at another hearing have increased by 13%, compared to the 2020/21 period.
With a relentless growth in the number of outstanding cases whilst resourcing of the system has not kept pace, ET delays and postponements have increased by 60% since 2010, with many cases waiting almost 50 weeks just for the first (not final) hearing!
For employers, the time spent with proceedings ongoing is uncertain and costly. However, claimant’s may be deterred from issuing or continuing with a case when faced with over a year’s wait until hearing. The lengthier process also allows time for employers to develop robust defences before court dates, which can likely lead to greater success or provide greater opportunity to reach settlement should that be an objective.
Since the Tribunals’ return from lockdown, the use of the online Cloud Video Platform has remained a common form of hearing and a very useful method of managing the backlog of outstanding cases. CVP hearings eliminate the need to show up at tribunals in many cases, reducing the stress of court proceedings and saving employers’ time and costs.