Mindimaxnox LLP v Gover and another UKEAT/0225/10

In this case two employees brought employment claims for unfair dismissal and unlawful deduction of wages. One of the claimants was also being sued by the employer in a related High Court case on the same facts. The employers appealed the tribunal’s refusal to stay the tribunal claims. The case concerned associated Cypriot companies and proceedings in Cyprus and in the High Court. The EAT allowed the appeal and ordered a stay of the employment tribunal until the conclusion of the High Court action.

The reasons for doing so were because of the complex factual dispute, to avoid embarrassing the High Court who might be bound by findings of a tribunal, complex legal matters, considerable overlap and the fact that a relatively small amount of money was at stake in the tribunal proceedings.

Key point: Concurrent proceedings are undesirable and this is a common issue. Claimants often seek to secure a swift decision from an employment tribunal or on fundamental points to hasten settlement discussions, whereas many employers are inclined to favour court proceedings because of the timescale and costs consequences. In most cases where there is an overlap, employment tribunal proceedings should and will be stayed.