El-Kholy v Rentokil Initial Facilities Services (UK) Ltd: EAT 21 Mar 2013

EAT JURISDICTIONAL POINTS – Extension of time: reasonably practicable
Where a Claimant has retained a solicitor to act for him and failed to meet the deadline for presenting a complaint of unfair dismissal to an Employment Tribunal, the adviser’s fault will defeat any attempt to argue that it was not reasonably practicable to make a timely complaint to an Employment Tribunal. Dictum of Lord Phillips in Marks and Spencer plc v Williams-Ryan [2005] IRLR 562 and Dedman v British Building and Engineering Appliances Ltd [1973] IRLR 379 applied. The approach to ‘reasonably practicable’ in Employment Rights Act 1996 section 111 is that of the generous interpretation of ‘practicable’ in the predecessor provision given in Dedman. Porter v Bandridge Ltd [1978] ICR 943 applied. There is no difference in the approach to be taken to ignorance of the right to bring a claim of unfair dismissal and ignorance of the time limit for doing so save in the ease or difficulty of establishing the reasonableness of such ignorance. Wall’s Meat Co Ltd v Khan [1978] IRLR 499 applied. Each case turns on its own facts. The Employment Judge did not err in deciding that the Claimant had not established that it was not reasonably practicable for him to present his complaint of unfair dismissal in time.
Slade J
[2013] UKEAT 0472 – 12 – 2103
England and Wales

Updated: 02 May 2021; Ref: scu.472848