Chairman’s Decision

Employment Law – Permission to Appeal Against Chairman’s Decision – Time Limit for Bringing a Claim – Unfair Dismissal


The case of Beasley v National Grid [2008] involved a claimant whose ET1 form (which is a form that has to be submitted prior to a claim being brought before an employment tribunal), was presented 88 seconds too late. The claimant in this case subsequently applied to appeal against the decision not to allow his application.

Wall LJ was of the opinion that three judges should consider the employee's application for leave to appeal against the finding of the tribunal chairman. It was held that this was due to the fact that the tribunal did not have jurisdiction to hear his unfair dismissal claim as it had been presented 88 seconds after the three-month time limit had expired.

Wall LJ argued that in certain extreme circumstances, such as those in this case, a claimant in such a position was entitled to a full and proper explanation as to why their claim was not granted permission to proceed.

He argued that the chairman in this case had not provided a suitable explanation, and therefore had not taken all the facts properly into account when reaching her decision.

On appeal, it was held that although the claimant was less than two minutes late in bringing his claim, the tribunal was bound to apply established principles, even though the employer did not suffer any prejudice as a result of the delay.

Note:- It should therefore be noted that even a minor delay in submitting a claim may result in the tribunal refusing to hear it. If a claimant is submitting a form on the last day of the time limit, it is advisable that they obtain confirmation from the tribunal office that their documentation has been received.

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© RT COOPERS, 2008. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.


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