The massive growth in employment disputes has lead to a huge back log of cases waiting to be heard by the Employment Appeals Tribunal.
Liam Moloney, a Naas based Employment Lawyer has called on the incoming government to reform the Employment Appeals Tribunal’s procedures to ensure speedier resolution of employment claims. More than 10,000 employment disputes were referred to the Employment Appeals Tribunal in 2010, which is up from 3,500 claims in 2007. More than half of these cases have yet to be heard by the Tribunal.
The current waiting time for cases to be heard by the Tribunal is in excess of 52 weeks and when cases are heard it can often be another 3 or 4 months before decisions are delivered. Mr Moloney criticised these delays.
“These cases should be fast tracked and dealt with far speedier. The delay in hearing cases and delivering prompt decisions is totally unacceptable. Judges in the main stream courts have to make decisions every day and they are not delayed for 4 and 5 months. The Tribunal should be forced to make decisions promptly and if at all possible on the same day. Most of the cases coming before the Employment Appeals Tribunal involve issues of fact and it should not be taking the tribunal 4 to 5 months to issue written decisions. These waiting lists are adding to the stress of all parties who can not move on until the cases are determined. It is also costing the economy millions through longer social welfare payments”
The waiting lists make a mockery of the Tribunals own mission statement which states the Tribunal aims to provide a speedy means for the adjudication of disputes.”