He was an employee up until October 2014 when he took redundancy due to a restructure. He has since provided training on our behalf on a freelance basis on 3 occasions. We have had complaints about 2 of them.
First you should consider whether this person is actually your employee or if he works on a self employed basis. If he is self employed then he cannot make the claim in the tribunal as that is only open to employees. However, he can then make a new and separate claim in the small claims court if needed. So if you are confident that he was working as self employed you can let the conciliation process end without agreement and if he tries to make a claim in tribunal it should be rejected.
In terms of withholding the money if he was self employed then you must be able to show that he had acted in serious breach of contract and did not do as he was employed to or did not follow the contractual requirements placed on him. Whilst you may have been advised by two clients that the quality of training may not have been up to scratch you should have conducted your own investigation into this. He denies doing anything but you should try and get more specific details from the clients and ask for specific examples of what he is alleged to have done wrong and given him the opportunity to specifically answer these concerns.
In the end, if he was clearly in breach of contract and did not deliver as contractually required, you can withhold some of the money, but not all of it if it can be shown that you had derived some benefit from this. For example, if you had received fees from the clients even if they were unhappy.
I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you
Could you please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else in relation to this? It is important for us to know either way so we can track customer satisfaction or identify whether I need to help you further? Thanks