The vast majority of employment tribunal claims are rooted in genuine conflict and are not vexatious. But it can be extremely frustrating for employers dealing with the small number of people dead set on raising claims simply in order to seek unjustified compensation. It is even more frustrating for employers faced with such individuals during the recruitment process.
Thankfully the ECJ has released a recent ruling which makes it clear that if an applicant applies for a job solely for the purpose of raising a claim with no intention of actually obtaining employment, they are not entitled to protection from discrimination. The case centred on a prospective legal trainee in Germany who, when rejected by the law firm to which he had applied, alleged that he had been subject to age and sex discrimination.
The resulting litigation made its way to the ECJ, which ruled that it is not possible for EU law to protect individuals for abusive or fraudulent ends. This ruling will be welcomed by employers who have had to deal with applicants who, it appears, are set on abusing their recruitment process for their own ends. However, employers should remember that such applicants will be rare and therefore it is prudent to exercise caution unless there is compelling evidence of fraud.