Employment Tribunal Hearings - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:29 am on 26 April 2018.

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Photo of Lord Beecham Lord Beecham Shadow Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Housing) 11:29, 26 April 2018

My Lords, this issue was drawn to my attention by a newspaper headline—in the Times, not the Morning Star—entitled “Tribunals gridlocked by surge in claims”. Among the many cases cited by the trade union USDAW and Thompsons Solicitors was a case in London, which happened in November 2017 and will be heard in January 2019, and a case in Watford, listed for a three-day hearing in January 2018 but postponed until September due to “having overbooked and a lack of judicial resources”. Is the Minister aware that ACAS conciliators have reported that they are overwhelmed by the increase in claims? For example, solicitors in Newcastle have been unable to get through to speak to anyone for two weeks. In detail, what steps do the Government intend to take, and within what timescale, to ensure that the maxim “justice delayed is justice denied” is no longer exemplified in the workings of the employment tribunal system as a result of what the Supreme Court ruled was its unlawful and unconstitutional imposition of fees of up to £1,200?