The Labour Arbitration Tribunal is different to the High Court when it comes to costs. Unlike the High Court, you don't automatically have to pay the other party’s legal costs if you lose the case.
However, if you are represented by a legal practitioner you may still have to pay your legal practitioner, depending on what you agreed beforehand, including a contingency fee agreement. If there is a disagreement between you and your legal practitioner about your legal costs you may apply to the Tribunal to determine the reasonableness of the legal fees in accordance with the Legal Profession Act, 2015.
In order for the Tribunal to order the losing party to pay the costs of the winning party, or part of those costs, there must be exceptional reasons. If the Tribunal finds that there are exceptional reasons it will then go on to determine how much of the costs will have to be paid.
After ling a complaint and you change your mind, you can discontinue your claim at any time. For example, you might decide that you don't want to carry on your case because you feel that you may lose. You can discontinue by simply writing to the Secretary to the Tribunal saying that you want to discontinue your whole claim or a part of your claim. However, you would be responsible to pay the costs of the respondent when you discontinue a claim unless they agree otherwise.
If you settle the dispute with the other party, you simply need to le the terms of the settlement and the Tribunal will make a “Consent Award” that will bring the matter to an end.
If by the time your complaint comes before the Tribunal you wish to amend your complaint, you should make an interlocutory application to the Tribunal to do so by writing to the Tribunal outlining your request in full and supported by evidence. It is important that you do so early and ensure that your actions do not seek to take an unconscionable advantage of the respondent, since you would have already been before the Labour Commissioner and the Minister based on your complaint. Therefore, the Tribunal will consider its overriding objective and ensure that its decision is proportionate when determining whether to allow you to amend your complaint and to award costs to the respondents.
Either parties have a limited timeframe to amend their response to the complaint or reply to that response, but any other amendment requires an interlocutory application to be led supported by evidence.