- Employment tribunals—jurisdiction—insurer of insolvent respondent (Irwell v Watson)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Insurance & Reinsurance analysis: The Court of Appeal held that an employment tribunal (ET) has jurisdiction to determine a claim made by an employee against the insurer of an insolvent respondent under the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010 (TP(RAI)A 2010), as it was necessary to interpret the word ‘court’ in TP(RAI)A 2010, s 2 as including an ET in order to give effect to the clear purpose of the Act, which was to enable the liability of the insolvent insured and the claim against the insurer under the Act to be determined in the same set of proceedings. It rejected the insurer’s contention that an ET was not a ‘court’ and so any claim against the insurer by an employee pursuing a claim against their insolvent employer in an ET had to be brought as a separate claim in the County Court or High Court. The Court of Appeal also held that the arbitration clause in the insurance contract was void following transfer of the rights under the insurance policy to the employee in relation to any complaints pursued under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) and the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010). Written by David Gray-Jones, barrister at The 36 Group.
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