Employment Tribunal Backlog

Caragh Bailey
4 min read
Employment Tribunal Backlog from Employment Law Friend

Employees are facing a long (and growing) wait, to have their cases heard by the employment tribunal, with the backlog now having reached 40% higher than pre-covid levels.

We can only expect this backlog to increase once the furlough scheme comes to a close, which may see some employees facing redundancy or dismissal, or returning to a very different work situation. This is likely to give rise to claims of wrongful dismissal, unfair dismissal, or breach of contract, amongst other things.

Single claims have risen by 13% and the outstanding case load is up by 22% leading to an average wait of 39 weeks (that's nearly 9 months! - And some cases are being listed for 2022).

Employment Tribunal Backlog from Employment Law Friend

Now more than ever we encourage you to consider the value of bringing a claim.

    Can you afford the money, stress, hours and days of your life that a drawn out claim will likely cost you?

    Is your case strong enough to win?
There is much more to winning your case than simply being in the right, you will need a watertight case with clear and reliable evidence in your favour.
Your employer will use every legal tool in their power to weaken your case, weaken your resolve and try to stop your claim reaching tribunal if possible. You'll need a solid outline of achievable achievable claims with supporting documents and good witnesses. Whilst the facts speak for themselves - you need to prove it!

    Is it worth it? How much can you win?
What outcome are you looking for? Successful employment cases usually end with a settlement involving a settlement made up of several parts. You might get a sum for mental and emotional damages in discrimination cases, you might get a sum for lost earnings if you're facing unlawful deductions from wages. The big money in press-worthy cases comes from loss of earnings, but these are usually for claimants on high salaries in situations where the issue at hand keeps them from finding reasonable alternative employment over an extended period of time.

If you are fighting a dismissal from an average salary job, where you have been able to find alternative employment within a few months. Your compensation for loss of earnings (just your wages for the time you were unemployed) is unlikely to cover the legal fees to have a solicitor present your case for you, or the stress and the hours involved in attempting to represent yourself.

If you are fighting a wrongful redundancy, you may only be eligible for compensation to cover your earnings if the consultation process were to have taken its due course.
If you are worried about your organisation making mass redundancies as a result of the pandemic: Read about collective redundancy.

Employment Tribunal Backlog: How can I beat the delays?

It may be cheaper, less time consuming and less stressful, to cut your losses, swallow your pride and focus on finding a new job as quickly as possible. However, If you have a case worth pursuing and a reasonable expectation of a fairly large pay-out, consider aiming for a settlement agreement. This is where your employer pays you an amount of money to drop the claim. It is best to use an employment solicitor to negotiate in this situation as your employer is likely to under-offer, taking advantage of your lack of representation, and the lengthy wait for a hearing. It is also important to handle your communications carefully, so that your negotiations do not weaken your case, in case you need to continue to the hearing. Read about without prejudice communications to help you negotiate your settlement.

Do you have need a review of your claim?

Our specialist employment solicitors can give you an honest, no nonsense review of the merits of your claim. They can also help you negotiate your settlement deal. Get in contact with us and see how we can help.

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This content is provided free of charge for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. No responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by any member of our company. For employment law advice please get in contact and speak to your employment law solicitors.
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