Ameyaw v Pricewaterhousecoopers Services Ltd [2021] EA-2019-000480-LA; EA-2019-000503-LA

Appeal against 1) the ET’s refusal to reconsider its earlier judgment dismissing the Respondent’s application to strike out three claims brought by the Claimant; 2) a decision to dismiss a fourth claim brought against the Respondent after a full merits hearing and 3) a decision to refuse the Claimant's application for an order under rule 50 of the Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure 2013. All appeals were dismissed.

The Claimant had made 4 claims to the ET, all of which were dismissed. Her appeals to the EAT were on the grounds of: 1) it was procedurally unfair to dismiss the Claimant’s application for reconsideration without holding a hearing or receiving further submissions, given the content of the ET’s notice to the parties. It was also alleged that the substance of thr EJ's decision to dismiss the application for reconsideration was erroneous in law, both in relation to extending time and on the merits; 2) the ET erred in law in refusing the Claimant’s application to adjourn the hearing on 23 January 2019, because (contrary to the finding made by the ET) her medical condition amounted to “exceptional circumstances”, and the hearing ought to have been adjourned; 3) the ET erred in law in refusing the Claimant’s application under rule 50 of the Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure 2013 because (contrary to the findings made by the ET) the Claimant’s Article 8 rights were engaged and were not outweighed by other considerations, and/or because the ET made no reference to a medical report in connection with its decision on that application and/or because the tribunal made no reference to the London South Employment Tribunal’s letter in connection with its decision on that application; 4) certain of the findings made by the ET on the substance of claim 4 were perverse and/or failed to take into account relevant facts.

The EAT dismissed all grounds of appeal. On ground 1) the EAT held that there had been a procedural irregularity in the way in which the ET had dealt with the reconsideration application, but that it was not material to the outcome because the Claimant (who had successfully resisted the application to strike out her claims) was seeking changes to the ET’s reasons for refusing the respondent’s application, rather than a change in the result. On ground 2), the EAT held that the ET had not erred in law in concluding that there were not “exceptional circumstances” and so refusing the application to adjourn, Morton v Eastleigh Citizens’ Advice Bureau [2020] EWCA Civ 638 considered and applied. On ground 3), the EAT held that there was no error of law in the decision to refuse the rule 50 application and that the Employment Tribunal had correctly held that the Claimant’s Article 8 rights were not engaged where the matter in issue was her conduct at a preliminary hearing in the ET which had been held “in private”. On ground 4), the EAT rejected the Claimant’s arguments, holding that the tribunal’s decision was open to it and none of the alleged errors of law had been established.

Published: 15/11/2021 14:17

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