The EAT has handed down a decision considering whether it is possible to award costs against a Respondent who fails to submit a Response Form.
It held that a tribunal's jurisdiction to award costs under the rules, when an employer fails to enter a Response, is limited to costs caused or incurred in dealing with one of the express matters set out in rule 9 (essentially making an application for review of a default judgment). The EAT's reasoning was heavily based on the fact that there is no obligation on an employer to enter a Response, thus an employer is not technically in breach of any rule if it fails to do so.
Accordingly, the EAT upheld the tribunal's decision on review to overturn the making of a £5,500 costs order in favour of a Claimant where the Respondent had not entered a Response.
Sutton v The Ranch Ltd