Employment Appeal Tribunal: time limit
Time limits for appeal
Case Haydar v Penine Acute NHS Trust  EWCA Civ 1435
Facts H brought proceedings against P. The ET upheld his claim for unfair dismissal, with a 50% deduction for contributory conduct, and dismissed his claims of discrimination. H wished to appeal the judgment.
He had until 27 May 2014 to appeal. He lodged a valid notice of appeal on 12 May 2014 but there was no record of the appeal being received by the EAT, and H received no acknowledgment. Five weeks later H realised he had heard nothing. He telephoned the EAT, and was told they had not received the appeal paperwork. H resent the appeal paperwork, and it arrived on 7 July 2014. This was out of time and H applied for an extension.
This was refused and H appealed to the EAT. The appeal was dismissed and H was referred to a booklet called “The Judgment” available online. This explains the appeal process, and the strict time limits. The booklet states as follows:
“If you have not received an acknowledgment from the EAT within seven days of posting the notice of appeal, you should contact the EAT to confirm they have received your appeal”.
H appealed to the Court of Appeal.
Decision 1.The appeal was dismissed.
H had not sought to obtain a copy of the booklet. He had made several appeals previously to the EAT, and was conversant with the process. The loss of the paperwork was a good reason for an initial delay, but there came a point where the onus was on the litigant to take the initiative and check that the package had been received.