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The “Broken” Employment Tribunal System

Employment Tribunals

Written by Jennifer Ormond

February 5, 2021

On Monday 1 February 2021 The Times reported that the employment tribunal system is broken.  Aside from identifying some issues which may have given rise to an increase in claims in both volume and complexity, it went on to condemn ill-trained and inadequate judges.

We disagree.

Our experience in the employment tribunal has been that very rarely, do Judges get it wrong.  Employment Judges are sharp.  Their standard is of the highest order and their ability to weed out the irrelevant facts is second to none.

The system may be inundated and awash with claims arising from Covid-19 but being busy does not make it broken.

We do not deny that there has been an increase in employees with less than two years service alleging other claims such as discrimination or whistleblowing which enables them to pursue a tribunal claim in spite of their short service.  We have experienced this first hand as well as it being clear to see in the tribunal statistics.

Our view however, is that the increase in claims is a circumstantial (Covid-19) and legislative issue.  The starting point has to be to review the ability of a Claimant to circumnavigate unfair dismissal legislation sometimes with absolutely no merit to those additional claims in spite of them not having two years service, rather than a personal attack on judges.

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