Judicial mediation on the rise
Rising unemployment as a result of Covid-19 has led to a drastic increase in the number of tribunal claims in the United Kingdom. With a mass backlog forming, a large proportion of hearings will not take place until October 2021 at the earliest; and in some parts of the country significantly beyond that.
The government has therefore proposed a number of measures to reduce the accumulation of cases. Primarily, since October 8, 2020, employment judges have been given the “green light” to hold more virtual hearings, while judges from other areas of the judiciary have been deployed to the employment tribunals.
Additionally, the government is also encouraging alternative methods of dispute resolution, particularly mediation, including judicial mediation. This is the process of bringing the parties together at a private preliminary hearing before a trained, neutral Employment Judge, who will try to resolve the dispute.