Employment Cases Update

Chadwick v Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd UKEAT/0052/18/JOJ

Date published: 17/06/2019

Appeal against the ET’s decision to strike out, of its own motion, the Claimant’s claim for constructive unfair dismissal. Appeal allowed.

The Claimant claimed that he had been constructively unfairly dismissed by the Respondent. After the Claimant (who was unrepresented) had presented his case, the ET took the unusual step of striking out the claim of its own motion, on the basis that the claim was bound to fail as the "last straw" doctrine did not apply on the facts; the ET gave, as its reason for the strike out, the pressure of resources on the ET, and its decision was upheld at a reconsideration hearing. The Claimant appealed on the ground that the ET had erred in its consideration of the "last straw" doctrine and that no reasonable ET could have reached the conclusion that the threat of disciplinary action was an "entirely innocuous act".

The EAT held that, on the facts of this case, the high threshold required to establish perversity on the part of an ET had been crossed. Accordingly, the original judgment should be revoked and the matter reheard from the start, either by the same or a fresh ET.

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