These cases are unreported (although some may be reported in due course). The transcripts were recently posted on the EAT website.
LAWAL v NORTHERN SPIRIT LTD.
(Lindsay J., 15th January 2002)
Resolving the issue of the 5 well-known employment QCs who sit as part-time judges in the EAT. According to the EAT, there is no bias (or appearance of bias) if an EAT lay member who has sat with such a QC in his/her capacity as presiding judge, then sits in a case where that presiding judge appears as Counsel.
PHOTIS & ors. v DTI & ors.
(Lindsay J., 6th December 2001)
Applicants to statutory judicial offices cannot bring claims to employment tribunals under the Race Relations Act 1976 or the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. In particular, three unsuccessful applicants for posts as lay-members of employment tribunals and social security tribunals were not permitted to bring employment tribunal claims for race or disability discrimination, because they did not fall within the jurisdictional limits of the Acts. Their only remedy was for Judicial Review.
SAMUEL v LONDON BOROUGH OF LEWISHAM.
(HHJ Peter Clark, 29th November 2001)
A conduct dismissal can be fair even if the employer wrongly labelled the conduct as 'gross misconduct'. In other words, it is still possible for an employer to act reasonably in dismissing for conduct even when the employee has not committed a repudiatory breach of contract.
NETHERCOATS (PROJECTS) LIMITED v SMITH.
(HHJ Levy, 12th November 2001)
The employer's representative wrongly conceded that the limit on the compensatory award was £50,000 (when, because of the date of termination, it might have been £12,000). The EAT held that it was an error of law for the tribunal to proceed without formally determining the effective date of termination, despite the formal concession as to the maximum award having been made, and remitted the case.
BERRY v GB ELECTRONICS LTD.
(HHJ Reid, 17th October 2001)
A profoundly deaf employee was one of seven members of staff dismissed due to redundancy at a meeting. No consultation or warning had occurred. Because of his deafness (which amounted to a disability), he understood that he had been dismissed, but did not understand that others had also been dismissed or that the reason was redundancy. The EAT held that the employer's duty to make reasonable adjustments entailed "having him interviewed separately at the same time, by someone who was capable of communicating with him in a proper manner" and therefore there existed "discrimination in the manner of his dismissal". The EAT added:
"It would be hoped that that declaration will make other employers aware of the need for appropriate and sympathetic treatment of other persons suffering from similar types of disability to Mr Berry at the time of their dismissal. "