The average processing time for all 3 HTU offices in respect of all cases is 10,2 weeks as at 31 December 2016. The average processing time from the time the processing fee is paid is 8,9 weeks as at 31 December 2016 if a case is concluded with a settlement, and 12,7 weeks if the case is concluded with a decision. The HTU's average in-house processing time (from when the parties have finished exchanging letters and until the HTU has reached a decision) is approx. 3 weeks. Processing times are currently the shortest in Trondheim and the longest in Bergen. There has been a drop in average processing times in 2016.
When the HTU was first set up the normal processing time for processing claims which had just been submitted (the mandatory time for processing cases) was approx. 8 weeks, excluding waiting time, if a case was resolved by settlement, and approx. 12 weeks if a case was resolved by a decision. Following an explosive increase in cases in 2009 we experienced arrears, but we have now caught up again. In 2015 the HTU experienced just a modest increase in the number of cases received.
Processing times will often be longer if, for example, claims are incomplete and need to be corrected, or if we need to call for the assistance of an enforcement officer because the respondent fails to respond.
Mediation is the fastest and smoothest way of resolving disputes and is thus a priority. If mediation is tried, the parties usually reach agreement in approx. 70-80% of cases.
If the parties do not wish to engage in mediation, or if mediation is tried without the parties reaching a settlement, a decision will be made about the case in question. Decisions are made on the basis of the documents relating to the case. The shortest processing times apply to those cases where the information provided is brief and adequate. Bulky cases containing unnecessary, ambiguous information and many long letters written by the parties involved will result in long processing times.
Cases relating to termination will take priority in the queue. In such cases the parties will also be invited to attend a meeting with the Tribunal members who will be deciding their case so that they can tell the Tribunal about their views on termination.
You can read about what happens to cases under the menu entitled "Processing cases".