Case Round up

Studying need not break chain of causation

Khanum v IBC Vehicles Employment Lawyer 34, EAT

• Khanum was dismissed in December 1996 and in October 1997, having been
unable to find alternative employment, began a degree course. The tribunal upheld
her complaints of unfair dismissal and sex and race discrimination but held
that starting the course broke the chain of causation and compensation was
assessed only to that date.

Khanum’s appeal was upheld by the EAT. She had an apprenticeship with IBC
that would have led to a specialist job in an industry where IBC was dominant,
and there was evidence IBC was blacklisting her. It was reasonable to assume
that because of the dismissal, she would need to re-train to find alternative
work. The case was remitted to a tribunal to assess future losses, including
those arising after she started the degree course.

Accuser was within his rights

Everitt v British Telecommunications , IRLB 629, EAT

• Everitt was dismissed for misconduct following his manager’s investigation
into his time-keeping. He pursued successful unfair dismissal and victimisation
claims.

The tribunal held that BT had carried out a thorough investigation and
genuinely believed Everitt had been guilty of misconduct by falsifying his time
sheets. There was no evidence he had been victimised by the manager.

Everitt appealed, arguing that he should have had the opportunity to
question the manager. The EAT dismissed the appeal.

In deciding whether an employee has the right to question a person who makes
allegations against him/her, all the circumstances must be considered. In this
case, Everitt’s reason for questioning the manager was to establish his
motivation rather than the adequacy of the investigation. Providing Everitt was
aware of the allegations made against him and had an opportunity to respond, it
was not necessary for the manager to be available for questioning.

When time starts running for an appeal

Mock v Commissioners of the Inland Revenue IRLR 12, EAT

• Mock was unsuccessful in his tribunal claim and intended to appeal against
the decision. The EAT rules require that an appeal must be made within 42 days
from the date on which extended reasons of the decision were sent to the
parties. Mock’s appeal was presented a day late and he was not allowed to
proceed.

He appealed, arguing that the time limit ran from the date he received the
extended reasons, and allowing for postal delivery his appeal was in time. The
EAT disagreed. Time started to run when the extended reasons were transmitted
to the parties. That was the date the tribunal decision was entered in the
register and the copy decision sent to the parties.

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