Further to the recent abolition of Employment Tribunal fees, Employment Judge Wright last month ruled that a claimant whose earlier Employment Tribunal claim had been rejected due to non-payment of fees should nonetheless be permitted to bring her claim against Tesco (Dhami v Tesco Stores Ltd).
The claimant had previously attempted to bring a claim of disability and age discrimination against Tesco. However, her application for a fee waiver was unsuccessful and therefore, in accordance with the now abolished fee regime, she was required to pay a fee in order to issue her claim. The claimant was unable to pay and her claim was consequently rejected by the Employment Tribunal.
In response to the claimant’s renewed claim, Tesco argued that the Employment Tribunal should decline jurisdiction on the grounds that the second claim was brought out of time.
The claimant argue that a ‘just and equitable’ extension of time under the Equality Act 2010 would be justified in circumstances where her initial claim was rejected only on the grounds of the non-payment of a fee, now confirmed to have been an unlawful requirement.
Judge Wright agreed with the claimant and granted an extension of time.
This decision may be taken as an indication that Employment Tribunal judges might be open to considering the effect the fee regime may have had prospective claimants’ ability to bring a claim.
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