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Employment Tribunals Service

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL8430, tabled on 23 September 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that employment tribunal hearings are held on time.

Answered on

9 October 2020

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has been working closely with the Judiciary, the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and in consultation with stakeholders to introduce a number of measures to support the delivery of justice. These include the introduction of legal officers (referred to as Tribunal Caseworkers) who will make an important contribution to reducing pressures and allowing Judges to concentrate on hearing cases. The further recruitment of Employment Tribunal (ET) Judges and the deployment of non-ET Judges to sit within the ET system will provide additional capacity.

Employment Tribunals have continued to sit during the covid-19 lockdown restrictions by making use of online and remote technology to hear cases and ensure continued access to justice for users. Face to face hearings are now starting to resume where it is safe to do so in line with comprehensive and ongoing risk assessments.

Having responded effectively to the immediate crisis, HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) is now fully focused on recovering its operations to increase courts and tribunals capacity to deal both with normal workloads across jurisdictions and outstanding cases. HMCTS has recently published a progress update on its recovery plans, see attached.

The Employment Tribunal Presidents have also published a document setting out how Employment Tribunals operate both now and, in the months, ahead.