Employment Cases Update

Lyfar-Cisse v Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust UKEAT/0100/19/JOJ & UKEAT/0181/19/JOJ

Date published: 09/11/2020

Appeals against the ET’s rejection of the Claimant’s claims of unfair dismissal, race discrimination and victimisation. Appeals dismissed.

The Claimant was employed by the Respondent, in a role with significant responsibility for equality issues, until her dismissal with notice. Prior to her dismissal, she brought claims in the ET of direct race discrimination and victimisation; and, following her dismissal, she brought further claims of unfair dismissal, race discrimination and victimisation. The first ET concluded that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the Claimant's claims of discrimination and victimisation because they were time-barred; and the second ET held that the Claimant's dismissal was fair, and that she had not been discriminated against or victimised. The Claimant appealed, contending that (1) the first ET erred in law in deciding that her claims of discrimination and victimisation were presented beyond the primary time limit, and (2) both ET decisions were tainted by bias because a lay member sat on both panels, resulting in procedural impropriety and denial of a fair hearing.

The EAT held that the first ET did not err in concluding (a) that the Claimant had failed to show "conduct extending over a period" any part of which fell within the primary time limit, and (b) that, in the absence of a discretionary extension of the primary time limit, it did not have jurisdiction. On the issue of bias, the EAT concluded that a fair-minded and informed observer, viewing the proceedings as a whole, would not think that there was a real possibility of bias due to the involvement of the lay member in both cases.

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