Employment Cases Update

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust v Rice UKEAT/0152/18/BA

Date published: 12/04/2019

Appeal against the ET’s decision upholding the Claimant’s claim that a grievance that he had lodged was rejected for the “sole or main purpose” of penalising him for his trade union activities contrary to s 146(1)(b) Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. Appeal allowed.

The Claimant worked for the Respondent and, for a number of years, had held a full-time role as a trade union official. He made a request, in line with the Respondent's policy, to change his working arrangements, but was told that this could not be accommodated. The Claimant's grievance appeal was not upheld, and the ET found that the failure of the grievance appeal to allow the Claimant's request was a detriment to the Claimant because of his trade union activities. The Respondent appealed on a number of grounds, including that the ET had erred in its application of s 146(1)(b) by failing to consider whether the "sole or main purpose" of the grievance decision-makers was to penalise the Claimant for taking part in trade union activities at an appropriate time.

The EAT held that it was not satisfied that the ET's focus was and remained on the decision-makers whose decision was relevant and the factors on which those decision-makers relied. Accordingly, the appeal would be allowed and the case remitted to a fresh ET.

Read the full text of the judgment on BAILII or download the file by clicking the link below.