This situation is not uncommon in disputes between employees and their employers.
Typically, an employee’s claim (for something like, say, unfair dismissal) will be nearing the stage of a final Hearing when they find out that their boss has called in the administrators.
In some cases this may be an unhappy coincidence, but in others it may simply be that the employer has decided that potential liquidation is a better option than a pay-out.
The consequence is that once the Employment Tribunal has become aware of the situation, they impose a stay on the claim, meaning that the case is stopped in its tracks and the employee is potentially deprived of the opportunity of their case being decided.
In a recent case before the Employment Appeal Tribunal, however, the Court provided some relief from this rule, declaring that where there is more than one opponent they are not affected by the financial predicament of the employer. The case included a claim for discrimination, for which it is not unusual for individual employees to be part of the claim as additional respondents. In this case the Employment Judges decided that the case could continue against those parties not affected and it lifted the stay which had been applied to all respondent parties. This allowed the employee to continue her case and allowed her the chance to recover compensation in circumstances where this chance may have otherwise been scuppered.
A very welcome analysis of the law which will help the savvy claimant and their advisers.