Mr Rondeau brought a claim for discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. On two occasions his ex-employer G4S made a settlement offer of £30k which he refused without a counter-offer. On the day of the appeal hearing, he finally accepted an offer of the same amount.
The EAT held that Mr Rondeau had acted unreasonably in failing to accept or even put in any counter offer on the two previous occasions. This resulted in further costs being incurred. It was “wholly unrealistic and unreasonable of [Mr Rondeau’s] advisers not to have accepted [the offer] earlier”. As a result Mr Rondeau was ordered to pay costs of £3,420.
This case highlights the importance of engaging meaningfully in appropriate settlement discussions and the need to carefully consider responses to offers made by the other party. It provides also a useful reference for encouraging another party to engage meaningfully in settlement discussions. Indeed, encouraging settlements is one of the areas being looked at in the Government’s consultation on resolving workplace disputes launched in January this year (see News round-up below).
G4S Security Services (UK) v Mr A Rondeau UKEAT/0207/09/DA