The Employment Tribunal is a forum which Employees bring claims against Employers. There is however, one claim an Employer can bring against an Employee in an Employment Tribunal and that is a counterclaim for breach of contract.
Employers can only counterclaim for breach of contract, if the Employee themselves makes a breach of contract claim against the Employer. This can however be a useful tool in the Employer’s armoury, given that there can often be outstanding contractual disputes and monies owed by the Employee, if matters end acrimoniously.
Furthermore, the Employment Tribunal (EAT) in Cortel Telecom Ltd v Shah has recently confirmed that an Employer’s counterclaim can continue and be heard by the Tribunal, even if the Employee has withdrawn their breach of contract claim. The case also serves as a warning to Employees (and their representatives) to think carefully before bringing a contractual claim against their Employer, as once that claim is issued (and the way opened for a counterclaim) then they can’t stop their Employer continuing to pursue them in the Tribunal for the counterclaim.
As always, this advice is general in nature and will need to be tailored to any one particular situation. As an RMI member you have access to the RMI Legal advice line, as well as a number of industry experts for your assistance. Should you find yourself in the situation above, contact us at any stage for advice and assistance as appropriate.
Motor Industry Legal Services
Motor Industry Legal Services (MILS Solicitors) provides fully comprehensive legal advice and representation to UK motor retailers for one annual fee. It is the only law firm in the UK which specialises in motor law and motor trade law. MILS currently advises over 1,000 individual businesses within the sector as well as the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) and its members.