Court of Appeal
In the circumstances an employment tribunal had been right to hold that it had no jurisdiction to hear a complaint of unfair dismissal presented 88 seconds outside the statutory time limit.
HELD: The Employment Rights Act 1996 s.111(2) imposed a harsh regime. Either a complaint was in time or it was not and there was no grey area for complaints that were only a little out of time. Complaints had to be presented within the time limit unless the complainant could show that it was not reasonably practicable to do so. What was reasonably practicable was pre-eminently a question of fact for the tribunal and it was seldom that an appeal would lie from such a decision. Moreover, if an application was left until the last minute, then the breakdown or failure of a piece of office equipment was a risk that had to be taken into account by the person making the application, Fishley v Working Men's College Unreported October 28, 2004 EAT applied. In B's case the tribunal took into account all the considerations relied on and, whilst its reasons could have been fuller, they contained sufficient material to enable B to know why he had lost. A decision on jurisdiction was a relatively straightforward matter and one could expect reasons that were generally much more brief than those to be given at the end of a full hearing. B's proposed appeal had no reasonable prospects of success.
 EWCA Civ 742
EMPLOYMENT, CIVIL PROCEDURE, ELECTRONIC MAIL, REASONS, TIME LIMITS, UNFAIR DISMISSAL.
William Meade (Senior Clerk)