The New Year’s Resolution
One of my New Year’s resolutions is to share ideas for challenging vexatious employment tribunal claims.
I spend a lot of my time helping employers with claims which, being generous, amount to no more than a load of words in a bucket. Since tribunal fees were abolished last year, we are seeing tribunals being used as a blunt instrument by disgruntled employees to secure unjustified pay-outs.
This was particularly galling in a case I dealt with recently because of the nature of the employer’s business: the protection of vulnerable children. Seeing funds diverted away from such a cause made the issue seem even more pronounced.
Pick a Number…
This particular case was a twenty-six-page claim, with fifty-two ‘detriments’ in just five months, it read somewhat like a script from Eastenders with claims of bullying, whistleblowing, grand theft larceny, treasonous libel, harassment and crimes against the Road Traffic Act to mention but a few. I realised fighting this head-on would be nigh on impossible. The stated aim of this particular claimant, who had been in employment for my client for a matter of months (and who found alternative employment in any case) was the modest and improbable sum of £320,000.
It’s only Words
If I had responded in the traditional way, my bill would have certainly racked up to nothing short of a ‘crime against humanity.’ So instead of taking the bait, I poured myself a cup of tea and pressed on through the 40,000-word document. In this state of tranquillity, I noticed that the claimant had omitted to use the ‘D’ word (as in ‘d’ for dismissal). In the absence of a dismissal, or a medical report the claim could only be worth £5000.
‘H’ for Hindsight
Broadly speaking, that’s exactly how it all went away without any hearing. Harmony restored. In hindsight, after all these years of lengthy written responses I might be just as useful when I say nothing at all.
Watch this space in coming months, when I will be creating a blog to share insight into how these nuisance claims can be brought to heel.
Troubleshooting Employment Solicitors
Our firm seems to have developed a bit of a reputation for dealing with the most complex and extreme employment law cases, some gaining widespread national media attention. If you have an employment law issue, do get in touch to discuss your case.
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