Employment Cases Update

Inchcape Retail Ltd v Shelton UKEAT/0142/19/JOJ

Date published: 23/08/2019

Appeal against the ET’s finding that the Claimant’s claim for unfair dismissal had been presented in time. Appeal allowed.

The Claimant was summarily dismissed for gross misconduct by the Respondent. He disputed the Respondent's version of events giving rise to the dismissal and appealed. After the appeal hearing, the Respondent decided to make further enquiries, with the effect that the three-month period for bringing an ET claim expired while the Claimant was still awaiting the outcome of the internal appeal. The Claimant then contacted ACAS for advice about raising a grievance and submitted his claim form. The ET found that the Claimant had not issued proceedings sooner because (1) he was not aware of the normal time limit, (2) he did not take steps to find out the time limit until he contacted ACAS, (3) he did not take any advice from a skilled adviser at any time, (4) he acted throughout on the assumption that he needed to complete the appeal process before he could bring an ET claim, and (5) he learned of the time limit only when he contacted ACAS for advice. Therefore, the ET concluded that the Claimant's ignorance of the time limit was reasonable, and he had brought proceedings within such further time as was reasonable, so that the claim was presented in time. The Respondent appealed.

The EAT held that the ET had not made any findings as to whether it was reasonable to expect the Claimant to take steps to find out about the enforcement of his rights. Accordingly, the appeal would be allowed and the matter would be remitted for rehearing.

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