Eirwen Pierrot secures substantial costs award following success in unfair dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal

August 28, 2015

Pupil barrister, Eirwen Pierrot, represented the successful Claimant in her claim for unfair dismissal in a case involving close analysis of the TUPE Regulations 2006. The case raised the question of where liability falls in the event that a transferee dismisses an employee prior to the date of transfer. The Tribunal was satisfied that the Respondent transferee had, as a matter of fact, authority to dismiss the Claimant and that as the reason for the dismissal was the transfer itself it was automatically unfair, pursuant to Regulation 7(1). The transferee, rather than the transferor, was liable owing to the operation of Regulation 4.

The Tribunal gave a judgment in the alternative, holding that even in the event that the Respondent lacked the authority to carry out a dismissal, the words of dismissal used made it plain to the Claimant that no job would be available to her after the transfer had taken place. As it was clear to the Claimant that once the transfer was effected she would suffer a material detriment in her working conditions (namely that no job would be available to her) she was entitled to resign and be treated as though dismissed pursuant to Regulation 4(9). Once again, as the reason for the dismissal was the transfer of business itself, liability for the dismissal lay with the transferee by virtue of Regulation 4.

The Tribunal awarded the Claimant the maximum compensatory award of 52 weeks pay, plus the basic award, and applied an ACAS uplift. Eirwen Pierrot then successfully argued that, though exceptional in the employment tribunal, this was a case which merited a costs order be made against the Respondent. The Claimant was awarded in excess of £10,000 in legal costs.