Employment Cases Update

Mukoro v Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain and others UKEAT/0128/19/BA

Date published: 06/04/2021

Appeal against the ET’s order striking out the Claimant’s claims on the basis that a fair hearing was no longer possible. Appeal allowed.

The Claimant, who suffers from anxiety and depression, was dismissed by the First Respondent, and she brought claims including for disability discrimination, unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal. After some of her claims had been dismissed, a preliminary hearing was listed for the ET to consider the Respondents' application for an order striking out the remaining claims; however, less than two hours before the hearing, the Claimant's daughter requested an adjournment on the grounds that the Claimant needed to attend an emergency dental appointment. The ET concluded that the Claimant had failed to make out a good reason to further adjourn or postpone the hearing, and so it refused the request and proceeded to strike out the remaining claims. The Claimant appealed on grounds including that the ET had erred in taking account of whether continuation of the proceedings would be harmful for the Claimant's health, when this was not relevant to the question of whether there could be a fair hearing.

The EAT held that the ET had failed to take account of relevant considerations, and that its refusal of the adjournment amounted to a denial of justice; further, the ET's decision that it was in the Claimant's best interests to strike out her claims was not a ground for striking out a claim and it was not relevant to the question of whether a fair hearing was possible. Accordingly, there would be a fresh hearing of the Respondents' application for an order striking out the Claimant's claims.

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