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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50157
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am an employer who had vexatious claim against me from an

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I am an employer who had vexatious claim against me from an ex employee. In a preliminary hearing the judge told both parties to get legal representation. We did this but the other party did not, in a second preliminary hearing the judge the said he would allow the case to go to full hearing because the claimant had included a race claim in his claim. However the judge stated that the claimant had little chance of success and said that in the event of the claimant loosing at a full hearing he would be made liable for all of my costs. He also requested a deposit of £500 to allow the case to proceed. The claimant did not pursue his unfounded claim any further. The problem is I had already spent over £5,000 in legal fees can. His claim was completely vexatious as a result of being caught out working for somebody else whilst off sick from my company and in receipt of sick pay!
The question is can I make a small claims court came against him for my legal fees.
Thank you
***** *****

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

How long ago did this occur?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi BenThe preliminary hearing was the 18th of July

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Thanks for your patience. First of all I should clarify that it is not illegal for an employee to be off sick from one job and receive sick pay, whilst continuing to work for another employer. Many employers incorrectly refer to this as the employee 'defrauding' the company and even take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

However, the legal position is that as long as the employee is genuinely certified unfit to work and this affects their ability to carry out the specific job from which they are signed off, they are able to be off sick from it. In the meantime if they are capable of performing another job, which is not affected by the reasons for being signed off sick, they can do so. For example, someone is signed off sick due to workplace stress as a result of heavy workload or bullying by colleagues. The stress prevents them from working in that specific job as the stressors are directly connected to it. It does not prevent them from continuing to work in another, less stressful job, where no stressors are present.

As to the legal costs you cannot pursue them in the small claims court. Such costs are to be determined by a costs hearing I the venue in which they were incurred, so it would have to be the tribunal which make a decision on whether the claimant would be made liable for any of these costs and you would have to pursue them via that venue through a costs hearing at the end.

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