Hilton Foods Solutions Ltd v Wright [2024] EAT 28

Appeal against a decision not to strike out the Claimant's claim that he was dismissed because he sought to take parental leave. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant had informal discussions with the Respondent with a view to seek taking parental leave. The Claimant accepted that he did not at any time make a formal written application for parental leave. He also confirmed on cross-examination that he knew he had to make a formal application in writing. The Claimant was dismissed on 13 March 2020 and paid 3 months pay in lieu of his contractual notice. The reason relied on by the Respondent was redundancy. The Claimant claimed that the real reason for his dismissal was that he sought to take parental leave and that it was not by reason of redundancy. The Respondent applied to strike out the claim on the basis that it had no reasonable prospect of success because the Claimant had not complied with the provisions of the MPLR that must be fulfilled to exercise the right to parental leave, and so he could not as a matter of law have sought to take parental leave. The ET declined to strike out the claim and the Respondent appealed.

The EAT dismissed the appeal. While giving notice to take parental leave under the terms of paragraphs 1(b) and 3 of Schedule 2 to MPLR will, save in exceptional circumstances, demonstrate that an employee has “sought” to take parental leave, it is not the only way that the fact that the employee has sought to take parental leave can be evidenced.


Published: 17/04/2024 15:16

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