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Swift justice in the ET
In the legal news this week, we’ve heard that the Employment Tribunals have decided to start listing unfair dismissal claims within 16 weeks of the claim being received from the Claimant.
The theory is that if a claim is listed as soon as it is received, there can be no delays in the process. In our experience of the tribunals in the region, it normally takes around 6 months to get to a straightforward unfair dismissal claim hearing. A much shorter period should, in theory, provide for swifter justice for employees and employers.
Whilst that is good news for the straightforward claims, and their Claimants, the most time consuming, stressful and complex claims of discrimination, or claims which will last longer than a day, will not be listed in this way and often take much longer to get to a final hearing.
Hopefully, the Tribunal Service will look at ways of tackling this issue as well. Not least because these types of claims take up far more tribunal time overall than a straightforward unfair dismissal claim. The real risk now is that, having listed standard claims within 16 weeks of being presented, there is no judicial time left for the time consuming work. We will have to wait and see.