Coronavirus causing significant increase in

tribunal backlog 

The Minutes for the Employment Tribunals National User Group meeting on 30 June 2020 have been published, as recently reported by Daniel Barnett.  


The key points from the meeting are as follows: 


  • The coronavirus crisis is causing a significant increase in the tribunal backlog, increasing by approximately 1% with each passing week. This is likely to increase further following the wind-down of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. 

  • Prior to the Covid crisis, there was already a significant backlog at approx. 30,600 single cases as of March 2020 (with the figure in June 2020 being 36,600). 

  • It is rumoured longer cases are not being listed until 2022. This is untrue with exception of the South East region which was (as of 30 June) listing 2-3 day cases for 2022. The London South region was listing 2-3 day cases in mid- to late- 2021, and every other region in England & Wales was listing 2-3 day cases in the first half of 2021. 

What is clear from these figures is that the employment law community needs to be on its guard against any government argument that the pandemic is the sole (or even principal) cause of the backlog. The tribunal funding problem goes far deeper than giving the tribunals service CVP rooms to hear extra cases during the pandemic.