appeal time limit

A forensic accountant who had won an earlier victimisation claim against one of her employers on the basis of an unfair reference has had her appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal struck out because she filed it outside the 42 day time limit for appealing. Whilst she was not a lawyer, the EAT observed that she had considerable experience of litigation and there was no reason to allow her to appeal out of time against an order striking out tribunal claims which were too unclear for the tribunal to work out what tribunal jurisdiction applied.

Although the judgment of the EAT can be read for entertainment value, there is a serious point to be made. While a lot of what the Claimant had submitted could only be described as "gibberish", the EAT was not prepared to say that there was no possible genuine claim buried amongst the material she had put forward:

True it is there is a good deal of unnecessary, irrelevant and confusing material, but I do not consider it can be said, as the Respondents urge me to decide, that there is no merit whatsoever in the Claimant’s claim.

Her appeal was not allowed to go forward: but the case illustrates the time and trouble employers can be put to when having to deal with unrepresented claimants, of which we can expect to see ever increasing numbers.