EU Election candidate, Senator Rónán Mullen has called on Minister Richard Bruton to address the unacceptable delays experienced by both employers and employees waiting for Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) hearing dates.
Senator Mullen said: “In July 2011, Minister Bruton announced a radical overhaul of the system of implementing employment law rights in the State. New legislation was due to be published during the last Dáil session which would propose an overhaul of several employment law State agencies that are no longer fit for purpose. Whilst the reforms are welcome, the current delay experienced by employees and employers awaiting appeals before the Employment Appeals Tribunal is simply inexplicable.
“The national average waiting time for an appeal to be assigned a hearing date is 70 weeks. In Donegal, that waiting time is 80 weeks. This is an appalling situation, particularly for workers seeking to exercise their right to statutory redundancy.
“People who have lost their jobs, and who are under financial pressure, should not be subjected to these unacceptable delays. From a career point of view, waiting for nearly two years for a hearing date often impacts on a person’s ability to source new employment as well as preventing them from moving on with their careers. I urge Minister Bruton to redeploy resources to the Employment Appeals Tribunal to clear the backlog of cases.”
“That employees and employers should have to encounter these massive delays is unacceptable. Part of the rationale for various statutory employment rights mechanisms is to avoid the delays involved in court cases. But here we see the same old problem occurring with the EAT. The Government shouldn’t have to be reminded that justice delayed is justice denied,” Senator Mullen concluded.
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