Laing v Bury and Bolton Citizens Advice [2022] EAT 85

Appeal against the dismissal of the Claimant's claims relating to deposit orders, witness orders and victimisation. Appeal allowed in part.

The Claimant was dismissed after a short period in employment. The Respondent’s case was that it had done so because of a large number of incidents, in a short space of time, in which he had badly undermined, upset or been rude to a number of colleagues. The ET made deposit orders in respect of his claims and ordered that certain witnesses should attend the hearing. The Claimant's claims were dismissed. The Claimant appealed on the basis of the extent to which the ET’s decision dwelt on his conduct as his own representative during the hearing, the strong language that the tribunal used to describe this, and the way in which it drew on this in support of its conclusions on the substantive issues. He also drew on remarks made by the lay members when commenting on issues in the appeal that had been raised with them by the EAT.

The EAT allowed the appeal in relation to the victimisation claim but dismissed the others. The EAT rejected the claimant’s suggestion that he had been stereotyped (subconsciously or otherwise) by any member of the ET. However, standing back and considering these features in the round, the fair-minded informed observer would conclude that there was a real risk that the ET’s view of the claimant’s difficult and challenging behaviour during the course of the hearing had engendered an antipathy towards him which had unconsciously influenced the ET’s collective decision on the two critical issues raised by the victimisation complaint. Those issues were therefore remitted for rehearing before a freshly-constituted ET.

Published: 12/08/2022 12:52

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