0370 270 6000

Record employment tribunal costs award

12 August 2011

Unlike litigation in the civil courts, costs orders in the employment tribunals are the exception rather than the rule. An employer successfully defending a claim against it can only recover its legal costs of doing so if it can show that the claimant behaved “vexatiously, abusively, disruptively or otherwise unreasonably” or that bringing the case was “misconceived.” In reality the employment tribunals award costs in only 0.2% of cases, and even then the level of award is often much lower than the legal costs incurred.

However, in a recent case an employment tribunal awarded costs of £100,000 against a former executive of Pertemps after she was unsuccessful in a sexual harassment case against her former employer. It is an encouraging example of an employment tribunal using a costs order in a case which, according to one newspaper, it found to be “vexatious, frivolous and [a waste of] the court’s time.”

Related opinions

IR35 rules to be scrapped from April 2023

The Chancellor’s recent mini-budget provided a significant announcement for business as it was confirmed that the off-payroll working rules (known as “IR35”) put in place for public and private sector businesses from 2017 and 2021 will be scrapped from April 2023.

View blog

Revoking and reforming EU law

The Government has published the Retained EU Revocation and Reform Bill which, if passed, provides for the revocation of all “EU-derived subordinate legislation” (i.e. UK statutory instruments which were introduced to implement EU law) and retained direct EU legislation on 31 December 2023, unless legislation is specifically introduced to save them.

View blog

Gender equality

Randstad has published a report on gender equality in the workplace based upon survey responses from 6,000 workers within the construction, education, healthcare and technology sectors. Whilst legislation relating to sex discrimination has been around for over 45 years, nearly three quarters of female workers surveyed reported that they had either experienced or witnessed inappropriate behaviour or comments from male colleagues.

View blog

Unfavourable treatment

The Employment Appeal Tribunal’s recent decision in the case of Mr Michael Cowie & Others v Scottish Fire and Rescue Service provides a useful insight into favourable - or unfavourable - treatment in the context of discrimination claims.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up