Davey v Harrods Ltd [2023] EAT 133

Appeal against the striking out of the Claimant's case because he had not complied with various orders. Appeal allowed and the strike out was set aside.

The Claimant was dismissed on grounds of redundancy. He asserted that the redundancy was a sham, and by an ET1 in October 2020 brought claims of unfair dismissal and dismissal by the making of protected disclosures in relation to health and safety issues. The Claimant was ordered to produce various documents before the hearing which was scheduled for September 2021. He wrote to the ET on several occasions asking for an extension of time but received no acknowledgment. After a further failure to comply because the Claimant did not attach his schedule of loss to the email, the ET struck out his claim, the EJ saying “It is not in the interests of justice, nor is it fair to the respondent or other Tribunal users, to allow unless orders to be disobeyed and for parties to be able to persist in breaching directions and final orders with impunity." The EJ also commented on the Claimant's ability to blog and engage with social media and present an appeal to the ET “at the same time he was failing to comply with Tribunal directions”. The Claimant appealed.

The EAT allowed the appeal. The judge did not set out the legal principles, if any, underpinning his decision. Neither did he refer to the guiding consideration referred to above when deciding whether to strike out for the noncompliance with an order, in other words the overriding objective including that such an order should be proportionate. The suggestion that the claimant had persisted in breaching directions and orders with impunity was not a fair characterisation of this case.


Published: 03/11/2023 14:58

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