Law Society Gazette reports on Employment Appeal Tribunal Parkin v Leeds Council

Friday 29 November 2019

Mukhtiar Singh of the Garden Court Chambers Employment Team was instructed by Mrs Parkin under the Direct Public Access Scheme.

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Mrs Parkin brought a number of claims against her former employer. Her allegations of sex discrimination and harassment were struck out by the Leeds Employment Tribunal and she appealed that decision. Mukhtiar Singh successfully argued that it was inappropriate to have struck out those claims despite the difficulty it posed on case management.

Adopting Mukhtiar’s submission on the law, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) agreed that this was not a plain and obvious case and in any event the tribunal had erred by not applying the two-stage test of Hasan v Tesco Stores. Whilst HHJ Shanks sympathised with judges facing difficulty in managing discrimination cases which have multiple allegations with lengthy pleadings, he questioned the wisdom of interim applications:

“…it seems to me that sometimes with these cases the best answer may be to just list them for a Full Hearing at the earliest opportunity and not keep making interim orders that are appealed and cause endless delays and bewilderment, I suspect, to Claimants. That way the Claimant is able to give evidence, tell her story, facts are decided upon, and then the results of those can be adjudicated on”.  

This is an important case providing some protection to victims of discrimination facing strike out and deposit order applications.

The case was remitted to the Tribunal.

Read the write-up in the Law Society Gazette.

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