Roughly 50% of employment disputes are settled between the parties by ACAS early conciliation. However, where settlement cannot be reached, disputes can be escalated to a tribunal hearing.
We are hearing that most area Employment Tribunals are now booking over a year ahead.
For example, Nottingham is now booking Hearings for Dec 2018 and Croydon is late January 2019.
The National Tribunal User Group met back in June, prior to the UNISON judgment, which resulted in the abolition of employment tribunal (ET) fees. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/654111/Employment_Tribunal__NUG_minutes_19th_June_2017.pdf
At that time 67% of cases were disposed of within 6 months of receipt against a target of 75% in England and Wales. The meeting notes refer to judges and non-legal members of tribunal panels retiring and not being replaced and the closure, relocation and merger of court centres.
This stress-inducing situation is most unwelcome and is expected to deteriorate significantly due to an anticipated surge of claims following the abolition of ET fees.