North East London NHS Foundation Trust v Zhou UKEAT/0066/18/LA

Appeal against a decision that the Claimant's claims could be heard despite her claims being lodged out of time. Appeal allowed in part.

The Claimant had instructed solicitors to assist with her unfair dismissal claim but completed the pro-forma parts of her ET1 herself to save money as agreed with them. Unfortunately, she entered the ACAS EC number incorrectly which was not picked by her solicitor before the ET1 was lodged with the ET. The form was rejected and the solicitor re-submitted  the ET1 within a day of the rejection, but by then it was out of time. The ET held, applying Adams v BT plc [2017] ICR 382, that that did not necessarily mean it had been reasonably practicable for the re-submitted, corrected claim to have been presented in time and concluded that the ET1 had been re-submitted within a reasonable period once the Claimant and her solicitors became aware of the error and that it therefore had jurisdiction to hear the claim. The Respondent appealed.

The EAT allowed the appeal in part. It could not be assumed that the case was on all fours with Adams, given that the question of the application of the Dedman principle had not been raised in that case. The ET had therefore needed to demonstrate that it had engaged with the question whether the Claimant's solicitors had acted reasonably. As it was not possible to see that it had answered that question, the appeal would be allowed on this basis and this issue remitted to the same ET for determination.

Published: 29/08/2018 15:10

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