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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I have been asked by a Tribunal Judge to provide grounds as

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I have been asked by a Tribunal Judge to provide grounds as to why I think my employer committed a breach of contract. Basically I was told by my line manager verbally that I would receive 2 years pay if I was dismissed due to "capability" or ill health. As I was in ill health I decided it was a good offer. Our pensions section (My CSP ltd) also advised me verbally that it was the correct amount. They told me the only one who could apply for a written estimate was my line manager which she did not do.However when I was dismissed they only paid one quarter of what I was expecting. I asked for payment from then but have not paid me. I worked for Department for work and pensions for 21 years. I am not sure what terminology the Judge is looking for.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Do you have a specific question about this?

Customer:

Yes, I worked for 21 years for DWP, I have taken it to a Tribunal but it is not as simple as I thought. I was asked at a telephone Prleim hearing to give legal grounds as to why I think there is a Breach of Contract, I am not sure what they mean

Customer:

I just wrote down an account of what happened , I thought that would be enough

Customer:

the wording the Judge uses is: the grounds on which he contends that ns k. palin of the respondent entered into a contractual agreement on behalf of the respondent to make payment of the alleged termination/monies/made representations concerning thesame

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I was called into some meetings earlier. What claim did you actually make in the tribunal?


 

Customer:

Hi Ben! It was for Breach of Contract, I took advice from CAB and they advised me that was the best way to claim. They said I had a verbal contract with DWP and therefore they should have paid the agreed sum of money when I left. My Line manager told me I would receive 2 years money , the first £30,000 would be tax free. My salary was 19950 PA. Instead they initially paid me £8500, and then increased it by another 2,000 . They said it was all I was entitled to but it was completely a different figure to what I was offered. At the time I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress so I was very reliant on DWP and my line manager for guidance. The Breach of contract claim was for compensation only, I was not after my job back. I have to reply by Friday so I am panicing a bit because I don't know what legal terminology they want. I have written down what happened on the ET1 but the Judge has asked for "the grounds" ? Thanks for any help you can offer Ben

Ben Jones :

Hi, as a lay person who is not legally trained you would not be expected to provide any specific and complicated terminology to explain your case. As far as contract law is concerned, for there to be a valid contract you must be able to show that you had an offer, an acceptance and valid consideration. In this case the offer was what the employer proposed, the acceptance is the fact you agreed to this, and the consideration is your willingness to terminate your employment as a result of this. So that is your argument that a contract had been formed, that its terms were whatever was agreed between you and the employer and the subsequent breach is that you were not given what was promised.


 


The issue you may face is that the tribunal could be the wrong venue for this, although it would be the Judge that retains the final decision over this. The only claim you can bring in the tribunal for breach of contract is wrongful dismissal. This is where the dismissal occurs in breach of contract. However, it was not the dismissal that occurred in breach of contract here, the dismissal itself may have been fair but an additional sum associated with it would have been the breach although that would not necessarily make the actual dismissal wrongful.


 


What you may have to claim instead is for unlawful deduction of wages by arguing that the money you were not p[aid was wages which you were due to the contract which was formed as discussed above and by failing to pay you the employer has effectively made a deduction from your pay.


 


If the claim in the tribunal is rejected because the judge does not feel it amounts to any of the ones allowed, then you can still make the claim in the county court, which frequently deals with breach of contract claims and which should have no issue to hear your claim. The time limit there is a much longer 6 years so no immediate rush.


 


Hope this clarifies your position?

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46184
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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