Hello, last week it was the newsletter and thus the time lapse between our last Case of the Week and this one means we have two cases for you this week, a Friday treat. The first concerns disability discrimination and death in service benefits whilst the second is about Early Conciliation.
TIC International Ltd v Ali which is a rare decision concerning Early Conciliation. The previous decisions taught us that any problems during the conciliation process can result in claims being thrown out. This case asks whether Respondents can be added to the claim after Early Conciliation has taken place?
The Claimant, Ali, made a claim against TIC International Ltd, the Respondent, and began the process of Early Conciliation. During the process, the Claimant incorrectly listed the name of the Respondent as its subsidiary name instead of the parent company name.
The Claimant completed the process of conciliation and proceeded with his claim, again with the incorrect Respondent named. At this point, the name of the correct Respondent was added to proceedings. They argued that Early Conciliation had not been complied with. The hearing went ahead anyway and the claims were dismissed.
However, the Respondent wished to appeal anyway stating that the hearing should never have taken place due to incorrect names on both the original claim and Early Conciliation certificate. The EAT rejected the claim. It held that conciliation only concerns prospective parties and once this has been done and the claim is issued the Claimant is no longer a prospective one.
It added that the Tribunal has the discretion to add new Respondents to the claim, where it is in the interests of justice to do so.
The lesson here is somewhat conflicting to the previous Early Conciliation decisions as it gives Claimants a greater margin of error when initiating conciliation. However, it would seem that the correct conciliation number is more important than the name and/or spelling of the Respondent.
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