Employment Cases Update

The Musicians’ Union v Kelly UKEAT/0111/19/LA

Date published: 10/09/2019

Appeal against the Certification Officer’s decision upholding the Respondent’s claim that the Appellant Union had breached its disciplinary rules. Appeal allowed.

The Appellant Union investigated allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying and threatening behaviour against the Respondent, a long-standing member and "approved contractor" of the Union, and upheld the charges of sexual harassment and of bullying and threatening behaviour. It imposed a sanction of expulsion from membership of the Union for 10 years, and also the removal of "approved contractor" status for 10 years. The Respondent appealed to the Certification Officer on the ground that the Appellant had breached Rule XVII-4 of its disciplinary rules, by instituting disciplinary proceedings in respect of a complaint of offences alleged to have taken place more than 28 days before the date of the complaint. The Certification Officer upheld the appeal, and concluded that the Respondent should be restored to membership of the Union and that his "approved contractor" status, which had been removed as part of the disciplinary process, should be reinstated. The Appellant appealed.

The EAT held that the mere passage of time was no bar to the Appellant's decision to initiate the investigation of the complaints against the Respondent. Accordingly, the decision of the Certification Officer, and consequent enforcement order including reinstatement to "approved contractor" status, would be set aside in its entirety.

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