Cost awards against claimants are not that common with companies unhappily recognising they will probably bear the full cost of their defence at ET, even when an application for costs has been made.
We first reported this case In this Employment Tribunal Appeal case in our April news when we focused on the use of covert recordings by employee . This was a multi-claim case that was heard over 20 days. The first appeal (reported in April) related to the convert recordings.
This second appeal is against the cost award made by Tribunal. The Tribunal ordered the claimant to pay one third of the Respondents costs, which are around £260,000 on the grounds the claims made were misconceived.
The EAT found the correct test had been applied, and accepted that it may take the claimant several years to pay the costs in full however was satisfied the claimant would return to employment and satisfy the Order. The appeal was discharged.
There is some optimism in reading this that ET’s have awareness that some claims go through costly court processes with little or no chance of success. Hopefully the new application fees will encourage applicants to seriously consider their claims, and discount those who previously fell into the camp of “I’ll see you in court because I can and it’s free”.
If you have a difficult situation with an employee and believe that you may be headed to an ET call us for some early intervention to achieve another outcome. We’re in the office on 0845 463 3231.