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Employment Tribunal wait times… 49 weeks and counting!

Employment Tribunal wait times… 49 weeks and counting!


On 8 February 2023, Mike Freer, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of Justice, answered a written question in Parliament, providing information on the average waiting times in the employment tribunal.


Below is a table, showing wait times from 2008 – 2021 (there is no data for 2022 as yet):


Calendar Year Average Waiting Time (weeks)
January to December 2008 31
January to December 2009 27
January to December 2010 30
January to December 2011 30
January to December 2012 31
January to December 2013 27
January to December 2014 36
January to December 2015 30
January to December 2016 29
January to December 2017 30
January to December 2018 32
January to December 2019 38
January to December 2020 46
January to March 2021 49


As you can see, the average number of weeks between receipt of a claim and the first Employment Tribunal hearing (which we are assuming includes preliminary hearings) has increased, from 31 weeks in 2008 to 49 weeks in 2021. This includes both single and multiple claims. If it is indeed the case that ‘first hearing’ includes preliminary hearings, then the average waiting time for reaching a final hearing will likely be substantially longer than this!


It was also stated that the waiting times have risen since 2019 (average of 38 weeks) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


So, what can be done?

Well, it is hoped that wait times will start to come down, although there has also been a rise in discrimination claims and the Employment Tribunals seem to be busier than ever!

The best thing to do is try and avoid any claim being issued in the first place. The best way to do this, is to be proactive, ensure you have the correct policies and procedures in place and make sure you get regular HR and/or legal advice on both day-to-day matters and specific situations that may arise. Should you be faced with any grievance, general complaint or think you need to initiate disciplinary proceedings, just to give a few examples, it is best to seek legal advice at the first possible opportunity, so that you can be guided through best practice and ensure you handle everything correctly.

We know that claims are not always avoided, and if a claim does land, you should inform an employment lawyer as soon as possible, so that you can be advised and it can be dealt with in the best way possible, right from the beginning.

If you need any help at all, you can:

Email us ? hello@peachlaw.co.uk

Send us a DM ? Connect with us on LinkedIn – Peach Law (HR & Employment Law Specialists)

Give us a call ? 0161 478 3800


Employment Tribunal wait times… 49 weeks and counting!

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