Islanders who have been awarded compensation by the Jersey
Employment Tribunal now have the assurance that they can personally
pursue recovery of their awards in the courts.
An ambiguous provision in the Employment Law meant that until a
recent judgment by the Royal Court, people could find that despite
winning their case in the Tribunal, the law was unclear as to how
the successful party should seek to enforce the Tribunal's
decision in the event the losing party failed or refused to
The clarification was given by the Bailiff, Michael Birt, in a
judgment handed down recently in the case of Luxicabs Limited v
Baal. Mr Birt confirmed that, in making an award, the Tribunal
creates a debt between the two parties that can then be enforced by
the successful party in the appropriate court.
Collas Crill represented Mary Baal in the Tribunal and the Royal
Court. We believe it is important that the Court has confirmed that
a successful party is entitled to pursue enforcement of their award
and has made the process clearer for those who embark on the
Tribunal process and for their legal representatives.
In 2010 Mrs Baal brought proceedings in the Employment Tribunal
for unfair dismissal from Luxicabs for alleged gross misconduct.
Her claim was successful and she was awarded compensation which
Luxicabs then failed to pay. Mrs Baal sued them on the award in the
Petty Debts Court which again gave judgment in her favour. Luxicabs
then appealed against the judgment to the Royal Court.
In the Royal Court, Luxicabs argued that the Tribunal's
decision had been erroneous and unreasonable and that they should
have been entitled to re-open its findings before the Petty Debts
Court. They also argued that because they had not had a fair trial
before the Tribunal they were entitled to a full hearing on the
merits before the Petty Debts Court. The Bailiff ruled that these
arguments were untenable and dismissed the appeal, meaning that the
Petty Debts Court judgment stands. The Bailiff said that the court
had no ability to revisit or review the Tribunal's
There was one issue that concerned the Court, which was one of
statutory interpretation. One interpretation of the relevant
provision of the Employment Law was that proceedings to enforce an
award of the Employment Tribunal have to be brought by the Tribunal
itself. However, the Court was of the view that this result would
be "absurd" and confirmed that the position is that the
party with the benefit of a Tribunal award (in practice usually the
employee) is entitled to bring a court action to recover the amount
due. As a postscript, the Bailiff urged that provision be made at
future tribunal hearings for the proceedings to be recorded to
ensure that parties who may have an arguable appeal are able to
advance that appeal with the benefit of a record of the
The judgment also represents a word of caution to a losing party
taking a similar approach to an award made against it by the
Tribunal because the Bailiff also ordered Luxicabs to pay the costs
of the appeal that had been incurred by Mrs Baal.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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On 1 January 2017 the Financial Services Rule Book 2016 comes into operation. With this will be the requirement on all Isle of Man licence holders to establish, implement and maintain an effective whistleblowing policy.
The Ministry of Human Resources has recently issued a string of new ministerial resolutions and decrees designed to address gaps in the employment regulatory framework and reinforce existing legislation...
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