ARAG warns redundancies may flood struggling employment tribunal system

The employment tribunal system already has a backlog of 45,000 cases and the wave of forthcoming redundancies may overwhelm it, according to ARAG.

The legal expenses insurer said that between March and August, it had seen a 336% increase in calls for redundancy advice to its legal helpline compared to the same period last year.

Chris Millward, head of claims at ARAG, said: “Delays in the criminal and civil courts have been widely publicised, but the employment tribunal system is facing very similar pressures. The backlog of claims has been growing steadily since 2015 and totalled more than 45,000 cases at the end of August.

“We know from experience that so many redundancies will inevitably lead to a big spike in tribunal claims, not just over redundancy pay and failure to consult, but for unfair dismissal, discrimination and other causes of complaint. It is difficult to see how the employment tribunal system will be able to cope.”

Millward said the back log would create problems for all stakeholders.

He added: “Delaying access to justice is unfair on all parties and makes it even more difficult to resolve disputes. Businesses facing claims from former staff and employees who may have been unfairly treated should not have to wait years for their cases to be heard.”

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