Friday 8 September 2006

Amending Claim Forms to add newly accrued claims

The EAT has held that it is permissible to amend a Claim Form, so as to include a claim which did not exist at the time the Claim Form was originally presented.

To put it more technically, an Employment Tribunal has jurisdiction to exercise its discretion to allow a claim that is presented prematurely to be amended so as to permit a claim to be included that could not have been included when the claim form was originally presented, because the claim had accrued at a later date. A claim may be presented pursuant to section 111(2) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 by way of amendment to an existing claim form as well as by the presentation of a claim form. The discretion to allow such an amendment must be exercised by the ET in accordance with the well-known principle set out in Selkent Bus Company v Moore.

This is an important procedural decision - previously it was standard practice for an employee to have to issue a second Claim Form and apply for the two cases to be heard together.

The EAT's reasoning is at paragraphs 61-63, and is very much a (sensible) policy argument.

The case is also authority for what might seem the uncontroversial proposition that a successful appeal against dismissal, taking place after a fixed term contract would otherwise have expired, does not have the effect of extending the employee's employment beyond the agreed date of expiry of the fixed term contract.

Prakash v Wolverhampton City Council

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