Employment Cases Update

Pearce v Bank of America Merrill Lynch & others UKEAT/0067/19/LA

Date published: 23/09/2019

Appeal against the ET’s judgment by which the Claimant’s claim of having suffered detriment for making protected disclosures was dismissed as having been presented out of time. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant, who is employed by the Respondents, was unable to work for more than 18 months as a result of ill-health, and he claimed that his ill-health absence was due to detriments suffered as a result of his having made protected disclosures in the course of his employment. However, he lodged his claim nearly three months after the expiry of the three-month time limit for bringing a claim. The ET concluded that it did not have jurisdiction to determine the Claimant's claim, on the basis that the claim had been lodged out of time: while it accepted that it was not reasonably practicable for the Claimant to have presented his claim within three months from the last of the detriments, the ET did not accept that he had presented his claim within a reasonable period thereafter, because his legal advisers had wrongly considered that they had one month from the date when the early conciliation ("EC") certificate was issued. The Claimant appealed on the grounds that the ET had failed to take relevant facts into account and/or had failed to give adequate reasons to support its conclusions.

The EAT held that the ET had reached a permissible view that the reason why the Claimant's claim had not been lodged in time was not because of his ill-health but because a mistake had been made as to the way in which the ACAS EC provisions operated in these circumstances. There was therefore no error of approach on the part of the ET.

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