Employment Cases Update

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust v King UKEAT/0056/19/OO

Date published: 21/11/2019

Appeal against the ET’s finding that alleged detriments were part of a course of conduct, such that the Claimant’s claims of unfair constructive dismissal and victimisation were brought in time. Appeal allowed.

The Claimant, who was employed by the Respondent for more than 25 years, lodged a grievance raising various complaints about alleged sexist remarks, bullying, harassment and victimisation. When the Claimant's grievance appeal was dismissed, she resigned and brought proceedings in the ET alleging unfair constructive dismissal and victimisation on the grounds that the grievance that she had raised constituted a protected act. The ET held that the complaint about the rejection of the grievance appeal was in time and, since the first four acts complained of were part of the course of conduct extending to the rejection of the grievance appeal, the complaints about them were also in time. The Respondent appealed on the ground that the ET erred in concluding that there was a continuing act in circumstances where several of the allegations of detriment relied upon did not succeed.

The EAT held that the ET erred in concluding that alleged acts of discrimination could be said to be part of "conduct extending over a period" where those alleged acts were found not to be discriminatory. The EAT substituted a decision that there was no conduct extending over a period, with the result that the single act of victimisation which was found to be proved was out of time. Accordingly, the matter would be remitted to the ET to determine whether time should be extended on just and equitable grounds for that sole act of victimisation.

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