One of my recent Employment Tribunal employer cases: In the case of R Shah v Onyx, an employee was found to have engaged in a ‘crude attempt at blackmail’ and put in no less than 64 grievances.
I needed an intelligent and narrow response to this and engaged an independent HR consultant who was able to elicit from the employee his real intentions (at one point over £200,000 was claimed). I investigated his background and painstakingly found quite a remarkable chain of events, amongst which was a material misrepresentation on the Claimant’s CV. The effect of this was nullify the entire contract of employment and all of the 64 claims in one go.
Surprisingly, the judge at the first hearing, refused to hear an application for costs so I appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal on a point of law. His Honour Judge Richardson found that it was not appropriate to refuse an application and a different Employment Judge heard the costs application.
The decision was sent out on 2nd March and after 2 years of quite remarkable activity, the employee was ordered to pay £20,000 to reflect the fact that he had conducted part of his claim unreasonably. It is a helpful guide for employers who are faced with ‘nuisance’ type claims. Amongst other things, the fact that the employee stated that he did not have a job was not found to be a sufficient reason for him not to pay costs.