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O'Driscoll v Hertfordshire Personal Assistance Support Service - Claimant ordered to pay costs in EAT despite proceeding to full hearing [2010] EAT

The fact that an appeal is allowed to proceed to a full hearing usually suggests that it has reasonable prospects of success. However, in this case, the eventual outcome proved to be exactly as Ms O'Driscoll had been warned by an EAT judge it would be - namely that she would lose overall, although she might win on one point. In these circumstances she was ordered to pay a further £1,000 by the EAT (on top of £10,000 costs already ordered by the employment tribunal) for her unreasonable conduct in pressing on with her appeal.

Ms O’Driscoll worked part-time for Hertfordshire Personal Assistance Support Service (“Herts PASS”), a charity supporting disabled persons, under the Access to Work scheme. She brought an employment tribunal claim for sex discrimination, race discrimination, constructive unfair dismissal and unlawful deductions from wages. The Tribunal dismissed each of the claim’s elements and then additionally stated that her contract was “tainted with illegality” and that they therefore had no jurisdiction to hear her claim. The Tribunal also noted that "[Ms O'Driscoll] is found to be contradictory, evasive and economic with the truth, with a tremendous capacity for self-deception”.

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