Polystar Plastic Limited v Liepa [2023] EAT 100

Appeal by respondent against decision of ET to extend time where a claim had been submitted without an ACAS EC number, could not be amended and a second claim submitted including the number.

The claimant had initially lodged a claim without including an ACAS early conciliation number. He subsequently obtained the EC certificate but, following a case management hearing, it was decided he could not amend his first claim so he lodged a new one. The new claim was accepted by the ET, and although it was out of time, the ET found the claimant had had a genuine belief that his first ET claim was validly presented in time (although the basis for that belief was unclear) and held that it had not been proved that he had acted unreasonably so was just and equitable to extend time. The respondent appealed.

The President of the EAT, Mrs Justice Eady allows the appeal. The ET had been wrong to place the burden of proof on the respondent to disprove the claimant’s understanding and, other than stating the fact of the claimant’s belief, the tribunal had not explained how it had assessed that factor in determining whether to exercise its discretion to extend time. Their decision was unsafe as the only permissible conclusion was the claimant had not established his belief was reasonable nor that he had a good reason for his delay so the matter was remitted to see whether it would, nevertheless, be just and equitable to extend time.


Published: 15/08/2023 12:05

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