Employment Cases Update

Lowri Beck Services Ltd v Brophy [2019] EWCA Civ 2490

Date published: 30/04/2020

Appeal against the EAT’s rejection of an appeal against a decision of the ET on a preliminary issue as to limitation. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant, who has dyslexia, worked for the Respondent until he was dismissed for gross misconduct. The Claimant's brother, who is not legally qualified, helped the Claimant to bring proceedings for unfair and wrongful dismissal and disability discrimination but, as a result of a misunderstanding regarding the effective date of termination, submitted the claim form out of time. The ET extended time in relation to the disability discrimination claim, where a wide discretion exists; it also extended time for the unfair and wrongful dismissal claims, given that the Claimant was a vulnerable individual and his brother's mistake arose from an error of fact rather than law. The EAT held that there was no proper basis to interfere with the ET decision, and dismissed the appeal. The Respondent appealed to the Court of Appeal on grounds including that it was not reasonable for the Claimant and/or his brother to have read the letter which effected the dismissal and then to have proceeded on the basis of the later effective date of termination.

The Court of Appeal held that the ET had made no error of law, since the question of whether the brother's mistake was a reasonable mistake was one for the factual assessment of the ET; and it endorsed the EAT's view that the ET's assessment was one which was entirely open to it in the circumstances of the case.

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