Quick change of mind
Brain v Corby Borough Council, EAT 10 November 2004
Mr Brain lost an employment tribunal claim that he had been subjected to a detriment on the grounds that he had made a protected disclosure.
Brain filed a notice of appeal by which he contended that mental illness or stress was, or could be, a detriment.
The appeal was listed for a full hearing, but Brain withdrew his appeal. An order dismissing the appeal upon withdrawal was drafted and dated, but, before it was sealed, Brain’s solicitors informed the Employment Appeal Tribunal that, on the day he had instructed them to withdraw the appeal, Brain had experienced a ‘mini breakdown’.
They applied to restore his appeal arguing that at the time of his instructions to withdraw the appeal, his state of mind rendered him incapable of discussing matters with his solicitors.
On the facts of the case, Brain was permitted to change his mind. The relevant factors were that Brain had changed his mind sufficiently quickly, that no material prejudice had been suffered by the employer, and that the appeal was arguable. The appeal will go forward to a full hearing.