Assisting a client in defending a claim with multiple respondents

Our employment team is experienced in employment tribunal claims and are capable of assisting at all stages of the tribunal process.

In 2019, the Employment team was asked to act on behalf of a commercial client, who faced a very difficult situation involving an individual who was purporting to bring claims for:

  1. employment status (alleging that he was not self-employed but actually a worker/employee);
  2. automatic unfair dismissal arising from whistleblowing;
  3. detriment arising from whistleblowing; and
  4. holiday pay.

The matter was slightly more complicated than the ‘normal’ run of the mill cases where we have one employer and one employee.  Instead, there were three respondents, all of whom the individual alleged could, potentially, be liable for the above claims.  We call this a ‘scatter gun’ approach.  In addition, one of the other respondents was the parent company of our client.

Alex worked closely with the client to consider different methodologies of dislodging our client from the proceedings.  One such consideration was that the individual was incorrectly pursuing the claim against our client when there were no reasonable prospects of success.

Throughout the process, Alex had to work closely with the other respondent’s representatives, in particular the parent company, so as not to upset or cause any disruption between our client and their parent company whilst still acting in the best interests of our client.  Throughout the process we were able to obtain and agree documents, bundles and draft and exchange witness statements.

Ultimately, every respondent had a slightly different position but after protracted negotiations lasting until 2020, Alex was able to broker a commercial settlement with the claimant and avoid any potentially tricky situations that may have arisen following the status claim being determined at employment tribunal.

Through brokering the deal and avoiding the open judgment, we were able to provide peace of mind to our client that the matter had been drawn to a conclusion and that no further issues would arise from it.

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