Hello and thank you for joining us in our case of the week. Our last update looked at a live-in carer and how their employer was left liable to unfair dismissal claims for not considering options other than redundancy.

This week we look at how a small error (bizarrely, in this case there was no error) in your Employment Tribunal application, could have your case dismissed!

The Claimant in this case Mr Balcerzak, issued a claim after being dismissed by his employer for redundancy. Claiming that no consultation took place prior to the redundancies being declared, he brought his claim under the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act.

In 2019 administrators of the Respondent company sent a letter to the Claimant explaining that the company was entering administration, there were no elections of any committees for the purposes of statutory redundancy, and the administrators did not object to Tribunal proceedings. The Claimant began Early Conciliation with ACAS – a requirement for bringing a claim in the tribunal. A reference number was obtained. The claim was issued.

Fifteen months after lodging their claim, the Claimant received a notice from the Tribunal Services saying their claim had been rejected, stating that the reference number had been incorrect on the claim form. An appeal was brought on 17 December 2020 on two grounds; the first, that there was no mistake and that the reference had been correct. Second, that there was no discrepancy between the Respondent’s name on the conciliation certificate and the claim form.

On review of the documents submitted, it was clear on the face of the two documents that both the claim form and certificate held the same details.

Allowing the appeal, the Employment Judge accepted that an error had been made by the Tribunal Services, he also considered the points made by the Claimant in their appeal. The points raised were that the claim was highly likely to succeed, the rejection of the claim would leave them without a remedy to which they would ordinarily be entitled to, and that, given the substantial delay, the claim was so far out of time that they could not resubmit.

Takeaway Point

Whilst it may be difficult to find a teachable moment in doing everything correctly and getting your case dismissed, it is important to note that this claim may have been allowed under these circumstances anyway. Ensuring that you set out your argument as coherently as possible in a way that is easily understood can stack the odds of success in your favour.

If you or someone you know needs assistance with the issues raised above, please contact a member of our team who will be able to assist you.