IOLIS Legal Services

20 July 2020

Mediation could be a quicker, less costly solution than an employment tribunal.

As the UK opens up again after the COVID-19 lockdown, many public services will face dealing with substantial backlogs.

For the already under pressure employment tribunal system, it’s yet another major problem.

The system has been under significant strain since 2017 when the Supreme Court judged that fees introduced to bring employment tribunals were unlawful.

Fees to bring a case of discrimination were as high as £1,200, deterring low-paid and part-time workers from seeking redress through the employment courts.

The introduction of the fees in 2013 saw a large drop in the number of cases being brought, meaning that fewer staff and employment tribunal judges were needed,

When the fees were eventually scrapped, there was a significant increase in the number of cases. However, the number of staff and judges in the service still hasn’t caught up with demand.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, there were lengthy waiting lists. Now, as the court processes re-open, that situation is set to get even worse.

One employment lawyer recently reported that a client was told the earliest date for a hearing of claims was March 2022, almost two years away.

The increased workload feeds right through the employment dispute system, including delays to cases which go to ACAS for arbitration.

What is the UK government doing about this?

There are reports that the Ministry of Justice is now considering re-introducing fees, possibly by using primary legislation in the House of Commons thanks to its 80-seat majority.

The Times newspaper reported that its journalists had seen correspondence between officials in Whitehall and the Law Commission which asked the commission for recommendations on “creating a coherent system for charging and updating fees in the future”.

Some legal sources say fees could be re-introduced within 24 months.

However, moves to do so will face significant opposition from opposition MPs and unions, including Unison which brought and won the case in the Supreme Court in 2017.

How could you or your client avoid these delays?

One of the best ways to get a claim settled quickly is to take it to mediation.

This service allows both parties to be heard before an independent, impartial mediator.

A qualified mediator will facilitate negotiations and help parties reach a decision with which both are happy.

Mediation tends to take a few weeks, by comparison with the months or even years a tribunal could take.

It can be carried out in person or online and it also helps you to avoid expensive court costs.

It’s also a far more effective route to success than a tribunal.

Just 14% of claims get to a full tribunal and only 7% of them are successful for the claimant.

Mediation has a far better success rate. There is a generally accepted figure that 75% of claims which go to mediation reach a successful conclusion.

It can also help heal the divisions between the parties or identify training needs within an organisation.

How do you choose the right mediator?

Look for a professional mediator who has a successful track record of helping parties reach an agreement.

Our mediator, Andrew Brenton, is accredited by Align Mediation and has an in-depth knowledge of employment law.

It’s also worth asking your mediator if they carry out mediation both in person and remotely online.

You can choose to have online sessions and even sign your agreement online, something which is particularly useful for people who are shielding or social distancing because of COVID-19 or those who would struggle to find the time to travel to sessions.

Recent Posts

Why you should use an independent person to conduct a workplace investigation

There exists in an employment contract an implied obligation to not act in a manner likely to destroy or seriously damage the relationship of confidence and trust without reasonable and proper cause. This relationship can become imperilled when an allegation has been made against an employee and this needs to be investigated. In a recent […]

Read more
Why will every toy seller in the UK soon need to up their game about data protection?

These days, internet-connected toys are in huge demand. Children want internet-connected toys such as Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit which allows you to take the online game and recreate it in your own home, setting up circuits and controlling the players via the Nintendo Switch. Or they might ask for Artie 3000, a drawing robot […]

Read more
5 Things to Remember When Meeting Over Video

As industry and commerce gets used to the ‘new normal’, the use of video conferencing facilities and software is becoming widespread. It is a useful tool and has undeniably been a major factor in bringing teams back together in a virtual way during the pandemic lockdown. There has been a lot of media coverage on […]

Read more
Will monitoring your home-working staff land your business in hot water?

Large scale working from home happened very quickly at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many organisations didn’t have time to fully explore the impact this could have on working practices. Some businesses and organisations had already embraced the benefits of remote working for their employees. Others had been wary of it and had […]

Read more
The 7 easy ways you can avoid data protection in your business becoming a Halloween horror show...

I was working as a DPO, late one night,When my eyes beheld an eerie sight.For a monster problem began to riseAnd suddenly, to my surprise,There was a breach, a data breach.How far’d it reach, that data breach?Where did it reach? Don’t be left singing your own version of the Monster Mash this Halloween! There are […]

Read more

Does your UK business need support? Tell us how we can help you.

Call us to start the conversation on 029 2000 2339 or email contact@iolis-legal.com

Contact us
6 October 2021
Why you should use an independent person to conduct a workplace investigation
There exists in an employment contract an implied obligation to not act in a manner likely to destroy or seriously damage the relationship of confidence and trust without reasonable and proper cause. This relationship can become imperilled when an allegation has…
Read More
26 January 2021
Why will every toy seller in the UK soon need to up their game about data protection?
These days, internet-connected toys are in huge demand. Children want internet-connected toys such as Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit which allows you to take the online game and recreate it in your own home, setting up circuits and controlling the players via the…
Read More
9 November 2020
5 Things to Remember When Meeting Over Video
As industry and commerce gets used to the ‘new normal’, the use of video conferencing facilities and software is becoming widespread. It is a useful tool and has undeniably been a major factor in bringing teams back together in a virtual way during the pandemic lockdown.…
Read More
25 October 2020
Will monitoring your home-working staff land your business in hot water?
Large scale working from home happened very quickly at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many organisations didn’t have time to fully explore the impact this could have on working practices. Some businesses and organisations had already embraced the benefits…
Read More
25 October 2020
The 7 easy ways you can avoid data protection in your business becoming a Halloween horror show...
I was working as a DPO, late one night,When my eyes beheld an eerie sight.For a monster problem began to riseAnd suddenly, to my surprise,There was a breach, a data breach.How far’d it reach, that data breach?Where did it reach? Don’t be left singing your own version…
Read More
20 October 2020
How could the right to be forgotten affect your amateur rugby or football club?
The General Data Protection Regulation was ground-breaking legislation in several ways. It brought data protection rules to filed paper documents, for example, and gave individuals a standard mechanism to request what data an organisation holds on them. Among…
Read More
IOLIS Legal Services is a trading style of IOLIS Ltd. Regd in England & Wales. Company Number 11968202. Regd office: International, House, 10 Churchill Way, Cardiff CF10 2HE. Total paid up share capital £10.
© 2020 IOLIS Ltd. | Website designed, hosted, and maintained by Jötnar Systems