• Robert Spicer

Employment Tribunal - Appeals

Appeals from the Employment Tribunal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) can only be brought on a point of law. Appeals to the EAT are not for the fainthearted and involve lengthy and complex procedural and administrative steps and a trip to London if the matter comes to a hearing. Notice of an appeal must be received by the EAT within 42 days from the date when written reasons for the ET decision were set to the parties.

What is a “point of law”? This issue has given rise to a mass of decided cases.

The general principles would seem to be as follows:

  • That the ET misdirected itself in law, misunderstood or misapplied the law; or

  • The ET misunderstood or misapplied the facts; or

  • The ET decision was “perverse”, that is, plainly wrong; or

  • The ET did not follow correct procedure; or

  • The ET hearing was improperly conducted.

It is fair to say that it is extremely difficult for an unrepresented person to carry out a successful appeal to the EAT.

Time limits for appeal

Haydar v Pennine Acute NHS Trust (2018). 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. 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.

Recent Posts

See All


Case management decision Access to documents Case Kular v Atos IT Services UK Ltd (2021) UKEAT 0101/20/2901, Employment Appeal Tribunal Facts K claimed that a costs hearing was procedurally unfair. Un

Employment tribunals procedure: new case

EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNALS ET1 Form Amendment Case Marrufo v Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council [2020] UKEAT 0103/20/0312, Employment Appeal Tribunal Facts M lodged a grievance which alleged bullyin

Welfare law in practice

Previously the poor were oppressed by the state, by landlords, by employers. Now they have to carry a powerful new burden on their already-straining backs, that of law, lawyers and all the attendant p