Do employment tribunals have jurisdiction to hear money claims made by a former employee for underpaid employer pension contributions?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 5 October 2021
Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI
Issues covered: Pensions; Tribunal Jurisdiction

The EAT in Somerset County Council v Chambers UKEAT/0417/12 confirmed that pension contributions are excluded from the definition of “wages”. Therefore, a claim for underpaid employer pension contributions would most likely be brought as a breach of contract claim. The claimant can choose to bring a breach of contract claim in either the industrial tribunal or civil courts.

However, tribunals only have jurisdiction to hear claims for breach of contract where employment has been terminated. Therefore, a ‘former’ employee would be able to bring a breach of contract claim in the industrial tribunal provided the claim is brought within any time limitation. Usually, the limitation period

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 05/10/2021

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI

The main content of this article was provided by Chris Fullerton. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email

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