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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Is there a way I can claim back from my former employer the

Resolved Question:

Is there a way I can claim back from my former employer the legal costs (and admin fee) I incurred in pursuing a claim against unfair dismissal with the Employment Tribunal (ET) because the employer relied on a key document (a H&S Report) which was withheld from me. The appeal adjudicator's decision actually quoted from this report despite me pointing out to him that I had not seen it.
My Solicitor eventually had to obtain an order from the ET to force the release of this document. Once we received it, my Solicitor advised that the chances of success were about even and the ET decision could go either way so we reluctantly withdrew the claim from the ET process at the last minute because of the employers' threat of costs against me.
If this document had been produced to me during (or even after) my appeal against dismissal and before I began the Tribunal process, my Solicitor would have advised me THEN that the odds were not good enough and I would not have spent 6 months and the associated legal costs in pursuing my case first with ACAS and then the ET.
This seems to me like unreasonable behaviour by my former employer which led to me incurring unnecessary expense (in the region of £2,000).
Could I pursue a claim through the Small Claims Court? Is there another alternative.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Did the Tribunal award costs for you, I assume not?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is that the answer?
No, the tribunal did not award costs for me - as I said in my question, we withdrew from the process before the tribunal hearing.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
No that was not an answer but a request for more information. In that case no you can't go after and claim costs. You can only claim costs if a Court/Tribunal awarded them. If you did not go through with the process then unless there is any contract between you which states otherwise you can not claim costs.
I can outline the process for you though if you wish, although I do not think you would be successful?
I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I'm not very familiar with this website and how it works. I thought I might have missed your full response.I'm not sure what you mean by a contract? between who?
Is there any means of me following up the order from the ET that required the disclosure of the report that had been withheld?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Unless the employer agreed otherwise to pay legal costs then they dont have to.
You can ask for a copy document under the Data Protection Act. But if you withdrew from the ET process you can't follow that up through the ET.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not really. It doesn't feel like justice if a document can be withheld from me, I spent a lot of money unnecessarily and I now have no comeback.However if you say that's the law, well, that's that.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You can ask under the Data Protection Act - you have that right.
Does that clarify?
Alex
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