ERT chair: Too many obstacles

Justice Christopher Blackman KC. (Picture by Lennox Devonish.)

The Employment Rights Tribunal (ERT) could get a lot more cases heard if only it could overcome some obstacles, such as having “no fixed place of abode”.

This was the response of chairman Christopher Blackman QC after a session yesterday in the Warrens Office Complex, St Michael, amidst some claims that the tribunal was not working quickly enough.

“As a result of case management conferences, cases have been settled and some cases [we have not adjudicated] have been settled based on decisions we have made. I’m satisfied the tribunal as constituted is working assiduously to cut down the backlog. There are so many cases we have settled . . . . The fact we have not done more is for reasons not of our making.

“We have had two cases within the last couple of weeks where I could not adjourn because the room wasn’t available. I am a vagrant, I have no place to call my own. This tribunal has been in place for seven years and we have no fixed place of abode except for a little room around a table which is too small because of COVID,” he said. (CA)

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