Hello and welcome back to your weekly case law update. Last week we looked at the Taylor Review and an update on a whistleblowing case that has been through the Court of Appeal.
This week we have a case law medley – ooh la la! Prepare to feast on three cases, whose subject matter varies from Early Conciliation to Redundancy and finally Tribunal Award uplifts.
Our first case concerns Early Conciliation, an issue that is gradually developing a steady progression of case law. Today’s question:
Can a claim proceed if the Director is named on the EC Certificate and the Employer on the Claim form?
Mr Giny, the Claimant was dismissed by SNA Transport, the Respondent. Before seeking legal advice, he began the Early Conciliation process, wrongly naming the Respondent’s Director, Mr Ahmed, as the Respondent.
He then instructed solicitors and they used the Respondent’s correct name, SNA Transport, on the ET1 form. As this didn’t match the EC Certificate, the claim was rejected. The Claimant appealed citing the mistake as a minor error, which is excusable under the rules.
The EAT was sympathetic to the Claimant but ultimately rejected the appeal. It held the test was twofold. One, is the mistake minor? If the answer to this is no, then the claim should be rejected. If the answer is yes then the second part of the test is, whether it is in the interests of justice to allow the claim to proceed. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
The takeaway point:
No, in this case it was held that confusing a legal entity with one of its Directors was not a minor error and meant the claim could not proceed. However, even if it wasn’t a minor error, it must be in the interests of justice for the claim to proceed.