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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47418
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Ben, A complicated one I'm afraid, I have just been to

Customer Question

Hi Ben,
A complicated one I'm afraid, I have just been to a tribunal for unlawful deductions of wages, the sums are not a lot, it's a principle. The outcome was that because the contract was signed on first day of service, there is a point which states that 100% of costs are recoverable in the first year and then a sliding scale. I was never informed of what any of the costs would be at any time during my employment(approx £400 & £600 expenses), the judged rules that money's held was lawful as there was a clause in the contract, in summing up and during cross examination, the true liquidated costs would be approx £500, my employer had asked for £1300. I considered this was then a penalty clause as it didn't reflect a true estimate of cost, therefore was unenforceable. It appears the judge didn't either 1, agree or 2, consider this?
Is it worth an appeal?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
It is only possible to appeal a decision of a tribunal if there has been an error of law. This is quite a tight interpretation and what may sound like an error in law may not necessarily be one from a legal perspective. For example, it is not an error of law for a tribunal judge to reach a decision which one party thinks should have been made differently and the appeal is not to be used as a rehearing of the case.
For there to have been an error of law, at least one of the following must be satisfied:
• The tribunal misdirected itself on the law, misapplied the law or misunderstood the law applicable to the proceedings before it
• The tribunal's treatment of the facts amounted to an error of law, e.g. there was no evidence to support a particular finding of fact by the tribunal; the tribunal's decision was perverse; or it is argued that the tribunal exercised its discretion wrongly
• The tribunal failed to give adequate reasons for its decision
• The tribunal breached the rules of natural justice
• There was excessive delay in a tribunal giving its decision
Just because the amount sought was more than the actual damages suffered does not automatically mean it was a penalty clause and therefore unenforceable. Some margins exist although these are determined on a case by case basis.
As appeals are complex, expensive and drawn out processes, for the sums involved I would not recommend that you take it any further, even if it is to prove a point. You will not be doing yourself any favours, especially as in the appeals process you could be made liable for costs of the other side if you lose. So the risks significantly increase. So if you are directly asking if this is worth an appeal then my answer would be not in these circumstances although the final decision is of course up to you.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether you need further help or if I can close the question? Thank you