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Employment tribunal not always the right place to bring claim

Employment Tribunals were set up to deal with disputes about employment rights. But as Lucy & Others v British Airways [2009] shows, some employment claims can only be brought in the County Court.

78 BA cabin crew brought claims of unlawful deductions from wages under the Employment Rights Act 1996, when their Manchester base closed and, as a result, they no longer qualified for various flying-related allowances.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal decided that the claims were not for unlawful deductions and could not therefore be brought under the 1996 Act. And they could not bring breach of contract claims in the employment tribunals – tribunals can only hear breach of contract claims if the Claimant’s employment has ended. These Claimants were still employed by BA. The claims should have been brought in the County Court.

If you need advice on an employment tribunal claim, please contact us – we would be pleased to discuss it with you.


Employment Department

Raj Dhokia: r.dhokia@fgdlaw.co.uk
Martin Fine: m.fine@fgdlaw.co.uk