The commercial law firm EMW has released information detailing how enormous backlogs of tribunal cases are waiting to be heard. These cases make up a total of 625,371, and the sheer magnitude of this figure is believed to be having repercussions throughout the entire UK legal system. |
The EMW calculated these figures by using data provided by the HM Courts and Tribunals Service, which tallied the figure by reviewing the amount of cases reported between January and September 2013. These figures show a clear 10% rise compared to five years ago when 251,900 cases were reported through similar findings. The EMW has explained that these cases are taking years to be assessed rather than the months they should take.
The further effects of this show that considerable pressure is now being placed on both employers and employees involved in the litigation process. EMW’s employment principal, Jon Taylor, elaborates: "This massive backlog in the employment tribunal system just keeps on getting worse and worse. It is a real drain on management time, particularly for SMEs who are unlikely to have their own in-house lawyers or dedicated HR team to deal with claims…The system is now so clogged up there are thousands of businesses for whom an employment tribunal claim has simply dragged on for far too long."
However, this increase in Tribunal cases is not a sudden development. They have been rising steadily for several years. Figures released by the HM Courts and Tribunals Service clearly document this increase by revealing a gradual 44% rise in the tribunal cases between 2010 - 2011.These cases climbed even further from October - December 2012 to reach a further 14% increase.
The most common reason for members of the public to file tribunal claims is because of issues relating to unfair dismissal, which professionals believe to be directly related to reactions and attitudes exasperated by the current poor global economic state.
Statistics indicate that a mere 10% of these tribunal cases actually result in a favourable outcome for the claimant and result in the company being sued paying around £8,500 in employment lawyers' defence costs. Out of court settlements can also prove costly for employers, as the average fee being paid is around £5,400.
UK courts have been trying to reduce these costs since July 2013 by imposing a minimum fee of £250 on any individual who wants to launch such a claim. These efforts may prove useful, but unfortunately this thinking comes too late to solve the current backlog of tribunal cases, which is already so overwhelmed by unheard cases that a more effective means of solving these issues is desperately required.
The other unfortunate outcome of all this is that genuine cases of unfair dismissal are being pushed aside; leaving actual victims without the justice they deserve.
If you have experienced unfair dismissal in your employment, contact Nationwide Employment Lawyers, who will advise you on the best approach to take in regards to making your claim.
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