Employment Cases Update

Ringway Infrastructure Services Ltd v Conlon UKEAT/0256/18/DA

Date published: 08/05/2019

Appeal against the ET’s Postponement Order sent to the parties. Appeal allowed.

The Claimant was employed by the Respondent. He claimed that he had made a protected disclosure, which led to bullying, harassment and false allegations of poor performance, and he was subsequently dismissed without a hearing. In the course of a complex case before the ET, the Claimant requested a Gaelic interpreter. After various hearings, the ET sent to the parties a Postponement Order made "on the basis that a Irish Gaelic interpreter cannot be obtained. Until a Gaelic interpreter can be obtained in light of the claimant position regarding an interpreter the case will not be able to proceed. The Tribunal accordingly will stay proceedings pending the claimants advising how the proceedings can progress in the absence of a Gaelic interpreter". The Respondent appealed against the Order on various grounds, including that the Respondent had been unjustly prejudiced by the decision to stay the proceedings and to give the Claimant the ability to seek to lift the stay at an indeterminate time in the future.

The EAT held that it was a breach of natural justice and a material irregularity for the ET, of its own motion and without asking for any submissions from the Respondent on the matter, to make the Order which it made. Further, the ET failed to explain why it made the Order, and it had erred in law in making the Order. Accordingly, the claim would be remitted to the ET for it to hold the Case Management Hearing at which it would hear submissions about what it should do next and make appropriate Orders.

Employment Claims without a Lawyer 2nd edition published March 2018

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