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Employment Appeal Tribunal agrees that a costs award against a Claimant was justified

This was justified despite their current inability to pay.

A Tribunal may make a costs award of up to £20,000 against a party where, in the Tribunal’s opinion, a party has acted vexatiously, abusively, disruptively and otherwise unreasonably.

When making a costs award the Tribunal, isn't obliged to, but may take into account a parties means to pay.

The Tribunal doesn't have to limit a costs award to that which the party can now pay or may be likely to be able to pay within a specified time period, there just needs to be a “ a realistic prospect that the party might at some point in the future be able to pay”.

In the recent case of Chadburn v Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and another, a case where the Tribunal found the Claimant had fabricated claims and therefore made the decision to award costs against them; the EAT upheld the Tribunal’s decision to award costs, despite the Claimant’s current inability to pay.

This was due to a finding at the Tribunal which had been able to conclude that the Claimant may be able to pay those costs at some point in the future.

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