Employment Tribunal costs awards

  • Posted

When it comes to the Employment Tribunal, costs orders are something exceptional. So, what prompted an Employment Tribunal to make a costs order against a Claimant worth £432,000?

Chee Hwee Tan was the Senior Vice President of Global Procurement at hotel chain Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MCH). He had worked for his employer since 2012 but was made redundant and his employment ended in February 2017.

Mr Tan described his ethnicity as Chinese Singaporean and his sexual orientation as gay.

In May 2017, Mr Tan brought the following claims against his former employer: unfair dismissal, automatically unfair dismissal, age discrimination, race discrimination, discrimination because of sexual orientation, victimisation, harassment, whistleblowing detriment and unlawful deductions from wages.

In support of his claims, Mr Tan produced documents together totalling more than 3,000 pages. It unfolded that he had made several hours’ worth of covert recordings of conversations with his colleagues.

All of Mr Tan’s claims were dismissed by the Tribunal, which described Mr Tan’s behaviour as “duplicitous”. The Tribunal found that MCH had followed a fair redundancy process but, even if Mr Tan had not been fairly dismissed, once MCH learned of Mr Tan’s covert recordings it would have been justified in dismissing him. Mr Tan’s behaviour had “undermined the trust and confidence between the parties”.

An Employment Tribunal determined that Mr Tan had pursued his claims unreasonably, and made a costs award of £432,000 to MCH.