25 November 2016 #Employment
In Liddington v 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld an Employment Tribunal’s (ET) decision to award costs against the Claimant, who was acting in person.
Miss Liddington represented herself in a claim for unfair dismissal. She was informed by three separate judges that her claims were not sufficiently particularised. Furthermore, she failed to provide exact dates, which was vital in her case.
Although litigants in person are not to be held to the same standards as lawyers, nor are they expected to provide detailed legal pleadings, the EAT felt Miss Liddington should have been able to comply with the requests for further information and been able to explain what was said or done and when. Her inability to do so amounted to unreasonable conduct which justified the ET’s decision to award costs to the Respondent.
Whilst cost awards in Employment Tribunals are rare, Respondents should be mindful that unreasonable behaviour, such as this, may result in such an award. Respondents should, therefore, consider with their legal representative whether it would be appropriate to issue a cost warning against the Claimant should such behaviour occur.