Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

This is a case concerning the (in)ability of Claimants to run concurrent proceedings in the High Court and the Employment Tribunal. Such issues usually crop up when a contractual claim for a value above £25,000 (which should be issued in the High Court) runs alongside a complaint in the Employment Tribunal for redress of a violation of a worker or employees rights (such as discrimination or unfair dismissal).

The facts in Halstead v Paymentshield Group Holdings Ltd

Mr Halstead (“the Appellant”) issued proceedings in the Employment Tribunal  for the complaints of unfair dismissal, automatic unfair dismissal on the ground of making a protected disclosure, and for accrued but untaken holiday pay. The Claimant had outstanding contractual claims that would need to be issued in the High Court (for breach of contract and rescission) and sent a pre-action letter to the Respondent regarding this on 7 December 2010. The Respondent applied to have the Employment Tribunal claim stayed on 21 December 2010 on the basis that there were likely to be concurrent proceedings in the High Court and the Employment Tribunal (although this was not the case). The Employment Judge agreed to the stay. The Appellant in March 2011 applied for the stay to be lifted because of a change in his financial circumstances and was apparently ordered to undertake to not bring High Court proceedings along with the Employment Tribunal proceedings. This was appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal ordered a stay on proceedings due to the potential concurrent claims (stating that the pre-action letter could constitute proceedings). A further appeal was made to the Court of Appeal by the Appellant.

The law relating to concurrent proceedings and staying Employment Tribunal claims

If there is the possibility of concurrent Employment Tribunal and civil proceedings then whether the Employment Tribunal claim or the civil claim should be stayed depends upon the facts of the matter. In complex cases, civil proceedings are likely to take precedence and the Employment Tribunal proceedings will be stayed. Further, should there be a significant overlap between Tribunal and court proceedings it is appropriate to stay the Employment Tribunal claim (Mindimaxnox LLP v Gover).

The Court of Appeal’s judgment in Halstead v Paymentshield Group Holdings Ltd

The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal, overturning the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s judgment. The critical points in this decision were firstly, that the Appellant was not issuing concurrent claims as the claims were separate and, secondly, that a pre-action letter and a draft particulars of claim did not constitute proceedings. It was therefore not appropriate for the Appellant’s claim to be stayed in the Employment Tribunal.

Our specialist employment lawyers’ thoughts on Halstead v Paymentshield Group Holdings Ltd

This is an interesting case concerning employment law proceedings in the Employment Tribunal. Claimants with potentially high-value contractual disputes should be aware that there is a cap on contractual damages in the High Court and that problems may arise if they issue claims that overlap in the High Court and Employment Tribunal. However, a pre-action letter and particulars of claim sent to the (potential) Defendant does not constitute proceedings.

 

About Chris Hadrill

Chris is a specialist employment lawyer at Redmans. He specialises in contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including breach of contract claims, compromise agreements and Employment Tribunal cases. He writes on employment law matters on a variety of websites, including Direct 2 Lawyers, Lawontheweb.co.uk, LegalVoice, the Justice Gap and his own blog. Contact Chris by emailing him at chadrill@redmans.co.uk

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

    Your first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry

    Testimonials

    4.80 Average

    330 Reviews

    Arabella B

    I am so grateful to Caroline Lewis at Redmans Solicitor’s for helping me with my Unfair Dismissal Case. I was seriously impressed how easy Redmans made the whole case, and am very happy with my Settlement. I have recommended your firm to at least 5 people in the last 3 months.. Thank you Caroline and everyone at Redmans. You are Brilliant .

    Posted 1 day ago

    Anonymous

    Highly professional and efficient service.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Tanya T

    I had the pleasure of Chris and Sacha’s experience with a work matter. They made me feel at ease with the process and explained everything thoroughly. Would happily recommend Redmans especially Chris and use them if needed I’m the future. Thank you!

    Posted 1 day ago

    Anonymous

    I used the services of Redmans solicitors and was a quick outstanding service I engaged them in a settlement agreement after been made redundant extremely professional at all that was done and would definetly use them again

    Posted 1 day ago

    Adrian A

    Spot on support, enough to get the matter at hand sorted. No beating around the bush, no nonsense - got the job done and we all moved on.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Mark Q

    Five Stars I was most impressed by the attention, courtesy, speed and above all, professionalism in dealing with my Settlement Agreement. I would certainly have no problem in recommending this firm to anyone in need of their services.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Ade A

    I was surprisingly impressed by how Redmans Solicitors handle my case. From the moment I call them to the absolute end of my case, they always look after my best interest.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Malcolm P

    they were there when others were not

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service all the way through from start to finish. Really great support and guidance from the team, they secured the offer that I wanted. I can't recommend Redmans highly enough and will be sure to use their services again should the need arise.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Efficient and quick service!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Karen B

    Quick response very helpful Issue raised dealt with very quickly

    Posted 1 month ago

    Carmen T

    Redmans give Great service and advice on reading contracts. They can explain all the solicitors jargon into words that you can understand. I received excellent service an I will use them again and again.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Very grateful for Mel’s efforts in handling my case from start to finish which I would have found very stressful without it. She was very professional, friendly and we had a positive outcome. Highly recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Nalin W

    Mel Chin was my Legal Executive when I engaged the services of Redmans Solicitors to help with a redundancy matter. She was incredibly approachable and professional from start to finish. Specially I have to mention regarding prompt reply to all my email queries, It was super quick. I would thoroughly recommend Mel Chin. Many Thanks

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    I'd highly recommend Redmans Solicitors. Mel was very helpful and assisted me throughout my case.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Sacha was very thorough and very helpful, with great advice on when to act and when to wait on my case.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    I have been very pleased with the support I got from Redmans Solicitors on my case with my employer. Caroline has always helped me to put things in perspective and showed me different scenarios ultimately to help me taking the right decision. She was very professional and always available when I needed, and at the same time also emphatic which I found also really important to establish a strong relationship. Will definitely recommend!

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Prompt and efficient response to my enquiries. Excellent negotiating skills with my employer which considerably improved the terms of my settlement agreement.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Very quick and professional service , Rana was very helpful

    Posted 2 months ago

    James G

    Very professional, knowledgeable and kept me informed at every stage of my case. I would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 3 months ago

    Pravina P

    Chris was really good and help solve my issues with current company. I would recommend him to anyone.

    Posted 3 months ago