Tribunals wait times fall but claims on rise

Waiting times for employment tribunals have been cut, but the number of
claims being made is increasing.

A recent survey by law firm Peninsula shows that the number of employment
tribunal applications increased by 8.55 per cent in 2001, despite the launch of
the Acas arbitration scheme last May. Meanwhile, the tribunal system has
speeded up over the past 12 months.

Stefan Martin, a partner at Allen & Overy, said: "The 80,000-90,000
part-timer cases that were clogging up the system have now been resolved –
mainly because they were out of time. The tribunals system has also had an
administrative overhaul, with cases being listed much more quickly."

However, the new wave of employment legislation expected over the next few
years is likely to have a significant impact, said Robbie Gilbert, chairman of
the Employers’ Forum on Statute and Practice.

"When the new legislation comes in, one of the issues will be age
which, unlike issues of race or disability, affects us all. This could mean an
even greater number of claims."

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