Coletta v Bath Hill Court (Bournemouth) Property Management Ltd UKEAT/0200/17/RN

Appeal against a decision that limited the Claimant's claim for failure to pay him the National Minimum Wage to 6 years. Appeal allowed.

The Claimant had successfully claimed that the Respondent had failed to pay him at national minimum wage rates and, at the subsequent Remedies Hearing before the ET, sought to recover payment for the sums that should have been paid, going back to the introduction of the National Minimum Wage Act, a period of some 15 years. The Respondent contended that section 9 Limitation Act 1980 meant the Claimant could only recover sums going back six years - there was a double limitation period for unauthorised deduction of wages claims: a claim must be presented within three months of the (last) deduction and it must relate to deductions arising in the six years prior to the date of claim. The Claimant appealed.

The EAT allowed the appeal. Where a claim was brought under a statute that prescribed a period of limitation, section 39 Limitation Act 1980 provided that the limitations that would otherwise apply pursuant to that Act (including the six-year limitation under section 9 of the Limitation Act) would not do so. Claims for unauthorised deductions were subject to a period of limitation by virtue of subsections 23(2) and (3) ERA 1996. The ET had been wrong to hold that this was not a period of limitation for the purposes of section 39 LA: section 39 drew no distinction between periods of limitation for jurisdictional or remedy purposes. The Claimant had brought his claim in respect of the series of deductions made from his pay within three months of the last of the deductions in the series, as prescribed by subsection 23(3) and was thus entitled to recover the sums that had been deducted from the wages properly payable to him, as provided by the National Minimum Wage Act, without the imposition of a back-stop of six years.

Published: 03/04/2018 15:24

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