EAT needs more judges to curb waiting times

Employers
face average delays of 18 months before cases are heard at the Employment
Appeal Tribunal, according to law firm Klegal.

Stephen
Levinson, a partner and head of employment law at Klegal, said more judges are needed
to sit at the EAT to prevent the length of time it takes for cases to be heard
increasing to two years.

Levinson
said the average waiting period has risen from between five and six months in
1997 and 1998 to current waiting times of about 18 months.

He
said, "The courts need experienced High Court judges with a good knowledge
of employment law. Eight judges are needed to enable the six courts to be use
efficiently."

Makbool
Javaid, a partner at law firm DLA, said, "There is not only a problem of
getting cases heard but also of receiving judgements. It is taking an extremely
long time for decisions to be communicated to parties," he said.

A
DTI spokesman said changes to the tribunal system which come into force in July
will cut the number of cases overall and ease the pressure on the EAT.

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