Letter to Santa!

In the case of Rana v Ealing LBC [2018] the Employment Tribunal had sent a Judgment out to the wrong address. The Claimant wanted to appeal the Judgment, as she only received it after the time to appeal had expired.  When the Claimant submitted an application for an extension of time in which to appeal, the Judge refused it on the grounds that the time limit to appeal had run out.

Elaborate and ingenious arguments were presented to the Court by different Counsel. Questions were asked, such as whether it was the same circumstances when documents are lost in the post. What if the postcode was wrong?  If the document had to be “sent to the parties”, how could that be the case if one of the parties did not receive it?

The result of the appeal against this decision was to take a reasoned approach and to exercise discretion. This was illustrated by the Judge’s comments now recorded in the decision, that no ordinary member of the public would answer “yes” to the question, “Can I send you an important document by sending it to Father Christmas instead?”

The outcome was that an extension of time was granted for the Claimant to appeal the Judgment, even though she was officially “out of time”. Hopefully this decision was made not just in the spirit of goodwill to all Claimants at Christmas, and that similar applications in the future will also be decided on the same basis, where it is the Tribunal's fault that a party does not receive documentation from them in time.

If you want employment advice please call 01702 338338 or email to pplant@paulrobinson.co.uk or ajames-pittau@paulrobinson.co.uk.