Labour Research May 2002

Law Matters

Breach of contract claims

Claims involving alleged breaches of contract can usually only be taken through the normal civil courts - the county or high courts. The one exception is where the claim was outstanding or arises on termination of employment when it can be pursued through an employment tribunal.

The advantage for employees is that the tribunal system is less formal and offers fewer risks of high costs. However, according to the Employment Appeal Tribunal, the right to go to the employment tribunal is narrowly defined. In the case of Miller Bros v Johnston EAT/407/01 it held that a claim for a payment negotiated after the employee's contract had ended could not be pursued through an employment tribunal.