Wave of redundancies could overwhelm struggling employment tribunal system

ARAGBy Legal Futures’ Associates ARAG

  • Backlog of outstanding cases has increased by more than 25% during pandemic, according to latest HM Courts and Tribunal Service data
  • 336% increase in calls for redundancy advice to ARAG’s legal helpline in the 6 months between March and August (compared to 2019)
  • ACAS saw calls about redundancy increase by 169% (on 2019) in June and July

Chris Millward, Head of Claims at ARAG:

“Delays in the criminal and civil courts have been widely publicised, but the employment tribunal system is facing very similar pressures. The backlog of claims has been growing steadily since 2015 and totalled more than 45,000 cases at the end of August.

We know from experience that so many redundancies will inevitably lead to a big spike in tribunal claims, not just over redundancy pay and failure to consult, but for unfair dismissal, discrimination and other causes of complaint. It is difficult to see how the employment tribunal system will be able to cope.

We’re aware of some longer hearings already being listed for 2022, which means that there are cases in the system now that will take years to resolve. Delaying access to justice is unfair on all parties and makes it even more difficult to resolve disputes. Businesses facing claims from former staff and employees who may have been unfairly treated should not have to wait years for their cases to be heard.”


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