This case at the EAT is unusual or slightly surprising at first glance for a number of reasons:
- The Claimant was unfairly dismissed despite the Tribunal accepting he defrauded her employer (thanks to the good old statutory dismissal procedure).
- The Claimant received no monetary award whatsoever (because the Tribunal accepted he defrauded his employer and committed acts of gross misconduct).
- The Claimant was found to have lied on oath and, as set out at paragraph 9, “at times seemed unable to distinguish between truth and fiction“.
- On appeal the losing party (the employer who, technically, unfairly dismissed the employee) received a costs order against the employee.
The EAT held the Claimant brought/conducted proceedings unreasonably bearing in mind he knew and even admitted his fraud. Whether the Claimant won or lost his claim was irrelevant for the purposes of the rules on costs (rule 40 of the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2004).
It is also interesting that the EAT held at paragraph 39 that Claimants in unfair dismissal complaints are not entitled to pursue a complaint merely for the purpose of obtaining a declaration of unfair dismissal. The only purposes of an unfair dismissal complaint should be to obtain an award of money, to obtain re-engagement or to obtain re-instatement.