Can an employment tribunal make a six figure costs award when a claimant made covert recordings and sought to wrongly implicate colleagues with WhatsApp messages in order to support his claim?
Yes, held the Central London Employment Tribunal in Tan v Copthorne Hotels.
The Claimant was a senior vice president of a hotel group. When put a risk of redundancy, he responded by making numerous allegations of discrimination, victimisation, harassment, whistleblowing detriment and unlawful deductions from wages. What came out in the disclosure exercise was that he had covertly recorded hundreds of hours of meetings and private conversations with colleagues.
As a result of all these recordings, some of which the tribunal described as “deceitful” and “duplicitous”, more than 3,000 pages of documents were brought before the tribunal during a hearing lasting seven days. The claimant persisted despite having been required to pay a deposit for some of the claims and having been given an opportunity to withdraw. An award of costs was made for £432,000, one of the largest awards ever by an employment tribunal.
Thanks to James Medhurst of Royds Withy King for preparing this case summary.