Employment Update: Tribunals



Bad behaviour by the employer at tribunal may result in further claims.

In the case of Nicholls v Corin Tech Ltd and others after a preliminary tribunal hearing, the employer met the claimant at the lift, swore at him and threatened him.

The claimant, who was claiming under the Disability Discrmination Act (DDA), wanted to bring a further DDA detriment/harassment claim based on this incident .

The EAT says that, in principle, he can.

The incident 'arises out of and was closely connected with' (S 16A DDA) his employment relationship, even though he was no longer an employee. It was also calculated to deter the claimant from continuing with a tribunal claim that had been brought in order to vindicate his rights as an employee.

The court rules which provide that you cannot be sued for anything you say in court (court immunity) did not apply here as, although the parties were in the building, they were not actually in tribunal.

Point to note –

  • Employers’ legal responsibilites towards their employees sometimes outlive the employment contract. For instance, when a dismissed employee seeks to appeal against dismissal or simply asks for a reference, employers must ensure that they treat them fairly, or they will run the risk of an unlawful discrimination or victimisation claim.