[Thanks to Ed McFarlane of EEF for providing this case summary]
The EAT (HHJ Serota) has handed down its decision in Tasneem v Dudley Hospitals, which is authority for the proposition that the presumption that an Employment Tribunal Decision is sent to the parties on the date recorded on it is rebuttable, if an Appellant shows that a decision was posted later, the time limit for appealing runs from the later date.
On the facts, the EAT accepted, on unchallenged evidence, that the Judgment was probably posted two days after the date recorded.
Accordingly, the 42 day time limit had not expired when the notice of appeal was lodged. The envelope containing the Judgment was not available, and there was no contrary evidence from the Respondent or Tribunal.
The EAT acknowledged the risk of unscrupulous Appellants seeking to evade strict appeal time limits by alleging late posting of Decisions, and called for the Employment Tribunals to maintain postal logs to show when Decisions actually leave the Tribunals.
Parties wary of appeals from 'last-minute Lucy' litigants might consider keeping the envelopes when Decisions arrive for proof of the date of sending.