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Drinkwater Sabey Ltd v Burnett & Anor


Employment Appeal Tribunal

In proceedings for unfair dismissal brought within time, an industrial tribunal has discretion to join a respondent outside the the three month time limit within which the complaint must be brought.

Appeal by transferee of council's refuse disposal operation against order joining it as a respondent to a claim for unfair dismissal by a plant operator. The employee had been dismissed by the council in consequence of the transfer of the undertaking in which he was employed, outside the three month time limit prescribed by s.67(2) Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978.

HELD: The employee had filed his complaint against the council within time but his application to join the appellant was only made on the council's application to be dismissed from the proceedings under r.17(2) Sch. 1 Industrial Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 1993 on the ground that it was the appellant as transferee who should be the respondent to the employee's claim. It was a matter of discretion for the tribunal to add a respondent to an originating application which had been lodged within the time limit even if the application for joinder was outside the time limit. The tribunal had exercised their discretion properly. Appeal dismissed.

Thomas Linden instructed by Laytons, East Moseley for the appellant. Ian Scott instructed by Pattinson & Brewer for the applicant employee. John Bowers for the council.

[1995] ICR 328

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