Minutes taken at the Employment Tribunals (England and Wales) National User Group meeting which took place in September, have recently been published.
These indicate a 165% increase in single claims compared to last year. This is in line with the Ministry of Justice’s figures which reported a 130% increase in outstanding singles cases for the second quarter of 2018 compared to the previous year.
Putting all this into context of the abolishment of fees back in Summer 2017, single claims would need to increase to 200% to return to the levels that they were at before fees were first introduced.
Concerns over longer employment tribunal cases
The user group have also discussed concerns over longer cases and longer wait times for cases to be heard, as many new claims will not be heard until at least 2020. Croydon Employment Tribunal already have a mutli-day hearing planned in for 2021 and Manchester Employment tribunal have a 10-day hearing planned in for 2021 as well.
Recruiting more employment tribunal judges
A recruitment exercise launched earlier this year to recruit 54 employment judges may alleviate some of the strain, although these have not yet all been appointed and there is doubt over the level of impact they may be able to have short-term.
The strain on the tribunal system may also be felt by employers (and employees alike) who wish to achieve a resolution more swiftly and may be inclined toward settling cases instead.