Case roundup

Tribunal refused to extend time

Robinson v Post Office, IRLR 804, EAT

Robinson was dismissed for failing to return to work after being certified fit for indoor duties and his notice period expired on 2 March 1999. His appeal against dismissal was arranged for 20 April but

was adjourned pending further medical evidence.

On 23 June Robinson brought unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claims but both were dismissed for being outside the three months time limit.

Further, it was not just and equitable to extend time for the disability claim; Robinson had been advised at least twice by his trade union about the time limit but had ignored that advice to concentrate on the appeal.

Robinson unsuccessfully appealed, relying on the 1999 decision in Aniagwu. The EAT held Aniagwu did not establish the principle that time should always be extended pending the resolution of an internal appeal.

Lapse of employment contract irrelevant

Reddy v Isle of Wight Healthcare NHS Trust ex Parte Reddy, unreported, December 2000, High Court

Reddy was employed as a locum consultant radiologist. After allegations of sexual harassment were made against him he was informed that he had to attend a formal disciplinary hearing but his Reddy’s contract with the trust lapsed before that date and Reddy refused to attend the hearing because the trust’s disciplinary policy applied only to its employees during the course of their employment.

However, the hearing went ahead in Reddy’s absence and the allegations were upheld. Reddy unsuccessfully sought a judicial review of the decision.

The court held that although the disciplinary sanctions could only be imposed during the contract, disciplinary proceedings could be invoked when the contract had ceased to exist. In this particular case it was in the public interest that the disciplinary hearing be pursued.

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