Court of Appeal (12 February 2009): The Court of Appeal clarified the scope of the Employment Tribunal and the High Court in respect of bonus claims brought by existing employees. It confirmed that a broker was entitled to litigate a claim relating to the amount of his bonus in the Employment Tribunal under the unlawful deduction from wages provisions in Part II of the Employment Rights Act 1996.
A claim in the Employment Tribunal may be more advantageous than bringing a breach of contract claim in the courts, as Employment Tribunal claims are generally dealt with more quickly than High Court claims and are less costly. However, such a claim for unlawful deduction of wages may only be brought in the Employment Tribunal where the bonus is readily quantifiable. If the bonus is in part or in whole discretionary, then such a claim could only be brought in the High Court.