Chester 01244 405555

Grosvenor Court
Foregate Street Chester
Cheshire CH1 1HG
DX: 19990 Chester

Shrewsbury 01743 443 043

Lakeside House
Oxon Business Park
Shrewsbury SY3 5HJ
DX: 148563 Shrewsbury 14

Airport City, Manchester 0844 800 8346

Office 129
Manchester Business Park
3000 Aviator Way
Manchester M22 5TG

Send us a message
Our Offices

Set-off is a valid defence in the Employment Tribunals

12th December, 2014

Employment Appeal Tribunal states that set-off is a valid defence in the Employment Tribunals

In what is likely to be a welcomed step forward for businesses, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has considered whether a claimant’s successful loss of pension rights claim can be set-off by a respondent’s counterclaim for an amount of overpaid wages in the case of Ridge v HM Land Registry UKEAT/0485/12.

In the first reported case of its kind, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has upheld a first instance decision that set-off is available as a defence in Employment Tribunals. Where two parties owe each other money, one party may exercise a right of set-off to reduce or eliminate its liability to the other party.

This development may be particularly welcomed by businesses as it could assist with the short limitation period which counter claims are subject to. However, this does not mean that employers simply do not need to present a valid counterclaim. Merely raising the claim as a set-off would leave the employer without a proper remedy where the employee’s contract claim fails on its own merits (leaving the employer with nothing to apply the set-off against) or where the employee’s claim is significantly less than the employer’s.

In this particular case, the employee made a claim for loss of pension rights during his notice period. The employer’s counterclaim for overpayment of wages was deemed to be out of time. In the absence of the defence of set-off, the employer would have been liable to pay the pension rights claim in full. The amount of the overpaid wages was not clear from the tribunal findings and the case has been remitted to a fresh tribunal.

For further information and advice in relation to Employment Tribunal claims, please contact Claire Brook on 01244 405575 or send an email to [email protected].

You might also be interested in...

Vicky Burgess - Bankruptcy Article

Anullying a Bankruptcy Order

12th December, 2019

This article explains that a bankruptcy order can be undone and is not necessarily a point of no... Read More »

corporate article jennifer harrison

Agency or Distribution?

4th December, 2019

When looking to market, sell or distribute its products a supplier may choose to appoint an agent or... Read More »

Images for Newsletter - December

Employment Law Newsletter – December Issue 2019

2nd December, 2019

Welcome to our new-look Employment Newsletter.   If you would like to contact a member of the Employment... Read More »

Contact Us