Crisis in the tribunals: the government must act

The Scales of justice statue on top of the old bailey couthouse in Southwark inner London UK. Taken on a clear spring day under a deep blue sky with lots of copy space. No filters were used on this file.

The employment tribunal system is in crisis and the government must act now to avoid a meltdown, lawyers say.

New figures show that the Supreme Court’s decision to abolish tribunal fees in July last year has led to a dramatic rise in claims. However, this has put the system under “intense strain” according to employment lawyers, who say there is a serious lack of resources to deal with the rise in claims…

To read the full piece, which appeared in The Times today, see here:

Thanks to all the of employment lawyers who gave me comments for the piece. There are further comments of interest here.

The Employment Lawyers Association has been seeking the views of its members on this issue. Committee members have also been discussing the issue with the President of Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and in Scotland. Look out for an article by Richard Fox, partner at Kingsley Napley, on the subject in the next ELA Briefing.

1 COMMENT

  1. If it is absolutely free to issue a Tribunal claim, it allows people to get revenge at no cost to themselves by putting the employer who dismissed them to trouble, expense and anxiety, for which reason the employer may pay them money to settle the claim even if it is weak, then it is not surprising that the Tribunal system is now receiving more claims than it can cope with.

    While there are those who cite ‘access to justice’ as a reason to make it completely free for anyone to sue their ex-employer in a Tribunal, I have never heard any convincing argument as to why Tribunals should be different from courts where few dispute the principle that as long as fees are reasonably proportionate, there are exemptions for the poorest and the claimant can claim the fee back from their opponent if they win fees, are charged. The problem with the clumsy and disproportionate fees regime that applied until July 2017 was that as usual with policies devised by central government (and I speak as a former Whitehall civil servant myself) whoever thought it up probably had too little relevant down to Earth experience to understand how it would work in practice.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.