STOP PRESS!: Extended opening hours for Industrial Tribunals

It’s a serious subject and one that impacts directly on EB, but I did have to smile when I read this on the People Management website. (

It seems as though there is going to be a trial of evening Tribunal sittings in Cardiff and East London.

Although there has been a leveling off in new industrial tribunals being brought (there were 151,000 in 2008/9 and 189,000 the year before) there is a tremendous backlog caused by the recession, more people being made redundant, more things people can claim for (i.e. the rise of unwanted and unnecessary legislation) and the amount of freely available information.

In fact, stats show a huge increase in the number of equal pay claims from the public sector, an increase in claims about redundancies and more individuals claiming, rather than groups.

All of this has led to trials of evening tribunals.

I wonder how much of the backlog will be cleared in this way. Let’s assume that one tribunal a night per judge can be cleared (and this might be generous), that there are five judges in each area and they work five nights a week. So that’s 50 cases a week cleared (extra). This means that the current backlog should be cleared in 58 years.


What alternatives are there?

Well, the article mentions recruiting judges… good idea, if a bit long winded, but is short on other suggestions.

How about this for a radical idea? Why don’t we get rid of much of the unneeded legislation that gives rise to so many of these ridiculous cases being brought so the tribunals can concentrate on really rooting out the important issues and dealing with them…

Things like discrimination, unfairness, poor practice, bad employers.

If you need to give someone extra powers, give ACAS more power to arbitrate and enforce the arbitration.

Wouldn’t that be interesting?

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