Employment Cases Update

Patel v City of Wolverhampton College UKEAT/0013/20/RN & UKEATPA/0393/15/RN

Date published: 23/06/2020

Appeal against the Registrar’s refusal to extend time to present a notice of appeal. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant, who had been employed by the Respondent for more than 10 years, was dismissed by reason of redundancy following a restructuring by the Respondent. She brought claims in the ET of unfair dismissal, direct and indirect race discrimination and automatic unfair dismissal as a result of whistleblowing complaints. At a Preliminary Hearing, the ET dismissed the majority of the Claimant's claims, and a request for reconsideration of that judgment was refused; at a separate hearing, the ET made an "Unless Order" requiring the Claimant to comply with case management orders. An extension to the Unless Order was granted but, by the revised expiry date, its terms were not complied with and the Claimant's entire claim was dismissed. A notice of appeal was filed one day late, on account of medical reasons affecting the Claimant. Thereafter, the Claimant and the Respondent reached an agreement, following conciliation action undertaken by ACAS, that settled all of the causes of action before the ET. Subsequently, the Registrar made an order refusing to extend time to appeal against the Preliminary Hearing judgment, and the Claimant appealed against this refusal.

The EAT held that, although it had a discretion to extend time to appeal, it would not be appropriate to do so in this case, because the notice of appeal did not raise any argument of law which would justify permitting an appeal to proceed, especially since such an appeal would be academic in view of the ACAS agreement reached between the parties.

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