Bringing tribunal claims without the correct information

22 May 2018

Two recent cases have dealt with the question of whether an employment tribunal claim can proceed without the right information.

In the first case the Court of Appeal allowed a claim to proceed when the claimant hadn’t provided any details of the claim. Ms Parry had presented an employment tribunal claim form to her employer Haberdashers’ Monmouth College. She claimed unfair dismissal and arrears of wages by ticking the relevant boxes. However, in the box which requires details of the claim she simply put, “Please see attached.” Her solicitors then mistakenly attached information relating to a different case. The Tribunal allowed the claim to proceed anyway and the school argued that it should not as it could not sensibly be responded to and was now out of time.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the claim could have been responded to by the school even without the correct details from Ms Parry as they knew that she had been dismissed. This does not mean that the employer will always be assumed to have knowledge of everything that has occurred. The Court highlighted that if Ms Parry had brought a discrimination claim without any detail, then the claim may have been properly rejected.

In the second case the claimant Ms Aynge worked in a pub, fell out with the licensee Mr Trickett and left before the end of her shift. Mr Trickett said, “This is your last shift tonight. That’s it, you’re done.” Ms Aynge brought a claim for unfair dismissal but said nothing about constructive dismissal. She was unrepresented. The employment tribunal dismissed her claim as it had not been properly pleaded as constructive dismissal. The Employment Appeal Tribunal disagreed. It ruled that the judge should not take an overly technical approach in these sorts of cases. Ms Aynge had raised enough information about the row and what Mr Trickett had said on her claim form, even though she had not stated she was claiming constructive dismissal. Her claim was allowed to proceed.

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