Employment tribunal claims in the UK are taking an average of eight months to be heard, according to a new report.
The research has found that waiting times have risen again, for the fourth consecutive year. This means that the average wait between a claim being put forward and the employment tribunal taking place is currently 237 days, which is an increase of 30 days on last year’s figure.
The number of claims has also increased by more than one-quarter in the past 12 months, now totalling more than 35,000.
Claims have risen consistently since fees to begin an employment claim were abolished in 2017.
Experts state that tribunal services were struggling at the time, and the increased caseload has exacerbated the problem, with a lack of frontline staff to handle the increase.
This has resulted in a significant increase in delays, with both workers and employers left with the prospect of eight months of uncertainty before a tribunal.
Experts have expressed concern that the eight-month delays are simply not sustainable, with excessive strain being placed on the system.
With longer delays, there is also the risk that key witnesses may leave, individuals may move and more variables can be introduced to cases that could cause issues.
The tribunal inquiries helpline has also been affected, with some callers reporting that they have waited for hours for a response.
A recent report by the all-party parliamentary group for whistleblowers found that some whistleblowers had waited between 18 months and three years for the claim to come to a conclusion.
Richard Burgon, Shadow Justice Secretary, said: “This is an unacceptable delay. Workers who have been unlawfully treated by bad bosses should not be forced to wait even longer for justice.”