Chevalier-Firescu v HSBC Bank PLC [2024] EAT 6

Appeal against a decision by the EJ to strike out the Claimant's claims following an Open Preliminary Hearing. Appeal allowed.

The Claimant alleged that she had been subjected to race and sex discrimination and victimisation by the Respondent and one of its managers. The alleged acts of discrimination concerned her potential recruitment in 2018 and the manager's alleged intervention in that recruitment process. She alleged that his intervention, and negative feedback about her, was based upon information which he had obtained from her former boss at Barclays, against whom she had issued Tribunal proceedings. She also alleged that the Respondent had failed to disclose key information to her relating to her primary allegation of sex discrimination regarding her recruitment in 2018. The Claimant also made a claim of race discrimination. There were two claims before the Tribunal. An Open Preliminary Hearing had been listed only in respect of the first of the two claims and there was, at best, confusion about whether the second claim was to be considered at the OPH and, if so, how. The ET struck out both claims at the OPH on the basis that it had no jurisdiction to adjudicate on what the Respondent’s individual employees are alleged to have done or failed to do between February 2019 and March 2021. Consequently, the Claimant’s claims in this regard had no reasonable prospects of success. The Claimant appealed.

The EAT allowed the appeal. In the circumstances of the case, to proceed to strike out the second claim at the OPH was a serious procedural irregularity and an error. Further, notwithstanding the breadth of the discretion afforded by s.123 of the EqA 2010 the Judge erred in his approach to the determination of the issues relevant to time limits because he failed to consider relevant matters and strayed into, impermissibly, a mini trial of the wider issues within the case.

Published: 14/03/2024 13:31

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