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Chambers & Partners
01/02/1999

Leicester University v. A

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Employment Appeal Tribunal

University's appeal from a decision of an employment tribunal chairman sitting alone that the university was not "a person affected" by the allegation of sexual misconduct within s.11(6) Employment Tribunals Act 1996 a provision which would have allowed the tribunal to make a restricted reporting order. The female applicant in a matter before the employment tribunal had brought a complaint of unlawful sex discrimination against the appellant and of sexual harassment by a male employee of the appellant. The chairman's decision was that an earlier restricted reporting order be revoked and that the only persons affected by the allegation and entitled have their identities protected were the applicant and two witnesses of the alleged acts of harassment.

HELD: (1) The tribunal chairman had considered himself bound by R v London (North) Industrial Tribunal, ex parte Associated Newspapers (1998) IRLR 569. In that case the Divisional Court had doubted that Parliament ever intended that a body corporate should come within the words "person affected by" in s.11(6). (2) In M v Vincent (1998) ICR 73 it was held a tribunal chairman was wrong to find he had no power to make a restricted reporting order but what was not argued there was the case where a company required inclusion in the order to protect its trading reputation. The answer to that had been provided by the London North case (supra). (3) It was not Parliament's intention to extend reporting restrictions to protect the reputation of corporate respondents. (4) The tribunal chairman was correct in making the order limited to the four named individuals.
Appeal dismissed and leave to appeal refused.

[1999] ICR 701

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