Employment Cases Update

Evans v London Borough of Brent UKEAT/0290/19/RN

Date published: 27/07/2020

Appeal against the ET’s decision striking out the Claimant’s claim for unfair dismissal on the basis that there was no reasonable prospect of his recovering any compensation. Appeal allowed.

The Claimant, who was employed by the Respondent as a deputy head teacher, was dismissed following disciplinary proceedings concerning the alleged receipt of unlawful bonuses and other payments. The Claimant lodged a claim of unfair dismissal in the ET, but the ET proceedings were stayed until the determination of High Court proceedings against the Claimant and other members of staff, in which various findings were made that were binding on the parties and on the ET. At a preliminary hearing to determine whether the Claimant's claim should be struck out, the ET decided that it should: even though the ET was unable to conclude that there was no reasonable prospect of a finding of unfair dismissal, it was satisfied that there was no prospect of the Claimant recovering any compensation, either as a basic or compensatory award. The Claimant appealed on grounds including that, given the ET's finding that he had a reasonable prospect of success (in respect of the procedural unfairness relating to the disciplinary hearing), that was sufficient for the claim to proceed, and the ET had erred in finding otherwise.

The EAT held that the ET, having concluded that a pure finding of unfair dismissal was a reasonable possibility, had erred, not only in the approach it adopted but also in the broader exercise of its discretion, by holding that the claim should nevertheless be struck out in its entirety. Accordingly, the ET's strike-out of the claim would be set aside insofar as it related to the part of the Claimant's claim of unfair dismissal arising from the procedural unfairness.

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