Tribunals urgently need investment Employment Lawyers claim
The Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) has described the functioning of Tribunals as moving “at a snail’s pace”, threatening access to justice for both claimants and employers. It called on the Ministry of Justice to urgently invest in more staff and judges to ensure tribunals run smoothly and quickly after overuse and loss of staff due to the pandemic. The ELA added that years of under-resourcing had hindered the tribunal’s ability to serve their purpose, and the pandemic had been “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
This follows an ELA survey of over 700 employment lawyers earlier this year. More than 40% reported waiting more than a year for their clients’ cases to come to tribunal. Respondents also noted that cases coming to tribunal are also taking significantly longer to resolve, with final hearings often delayed.
On a more positive note the survey reported that both lawyers and tribunals had adapted to remote hearings. Almost all saw online hearings as at least “somewhat effective”, with more than half feeling they were “very effective”.