Nicola Newbegin, instructed by Fiona McLellan of Hempsons, appeared for the successful Claimant (Appellant) before the EAT in a case in which a decision of the ET to limit the number of claims of discrimination that the Claimant could bring at one hearing was held by the EAT to be perverse.
The EAT has handed down its judgment in the case of Dr Tarn v Dr Hughes & Ors UKEAT/0064/18/DM.
The Claimant brought proceedings before the ET for sex and pregnancy discrimination, harassment and victimisation. Prior to a preliminary hearing, the parties had agreed a list of issues which identified 30 separate acts about which the Claimant was making a complaint. At the preliminary hearing, having listed the case for six days, the ET ordered the Claimant to select up to ten events for consideration at that hearing. In respect of the other matters the Claimant was permitted to rely upon them either as background at that hearing or to pursue those other matters separately, at a later hearing.
The Claimant appealed to the EAT. Allowing the Claimant’s appeal, the EAT held that the ET’s order had been perverse: the ET had failed to engage with the very real difficulties arising from the course its order required. To the extent that the ET was seeking to make the claimant choose whether to rely on matters (other than the ten acts) as part of the background or at a later hearing, there was nothing in the ET’s decision that suggested that it had considered the potential unfairness of requiring the Claimant to make such an election. If the Claimant was on the other hand to be permitted to rely upon the other allegations as background at the first hearing and then again at a later hearing, there would be no benefit in terms of time and cost.
Of more general importance, the EAT at paragraph 28 provided guidance about the exercise of case management functions by ETs at preliminary hearing:
To read the judgment, please click here.
discrimination, EAT, nicola newbegin, employment, sex discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, harassment, victimisation
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