and Discrimination Tribunal
6th November 2017.
Mrs Hilary Griffin, Chairman, sitting
Mr Paul Cowgill
States Employment Board
For the Claimant:
For the Respondent
Attendance not required.
Respondent employed the Claimant as a Catering Officer at HMP La Moye between 6 June 2008 and 22 June 2017 when the Claimant
was dismissed on the grounds of capability.
August 2017, the Tribunal received a Claim Form from the Claimant claiming that
he had been unfairly dismissed by the Respondent. The time-limit for submitting
a claim for unfair dismissal expired on 16 August 2017. The Claimant therefore
filed his claim eight days outside the statutory time-limit as set out in
Article 76(2) of the Employment (Jersey) Law 2003 (“Employment
76(2) of the Employment Law states:
Claimant's request, the Tribunal convened a Hearing to consider whether to
exercise its discretion under Article 76(2)(b) of the Employment
Law and accept the Claimant’s complaint of unfair dismissal. The
hearing was attended only by the Claimant.
Claimant referred the Chairman to his email of 29 August 2017, which set out
his grounds for requesting that the Tribunal exercise its discretion.
Claimant explained that the Effective Date of Termination of his employment was
22 June 2017 (“EDT”). The Claimant appealed against the decision to
dismiss him and the appeal hearing was convened on 27 June 2017. On 3 July
2017, he received written confirmation that the decision to terminate his
employment had been upheld. The
Claimant submitted that the dismissal process therefore continued until the
appeal outcome was known to him on 3 July 2017.
Claimant confirmed that he sought advice from JACS shortly after the EDT. He confirmed that the red stamp on the
top of his Claim Form (advising the Claimant to "submit within 56 days of
22 June 2017") was placed there by the adviser at JACS.
Claimant explained that the principal reason for the delay was that he had been
"hesitant” to submit a claim to the Tribunal as he was concerned
about his health and did not want to bring more stress upon himself. He was mindful that he was effectively
taking on a large employer, and he found this intimidating. He explained that
it was "a big decision" but he had eventually been encouraged to
submit a claim by friends. He explained that he submitted his Claim Form as
quickly as he could after deciding to pursue his claim.
for the Tribunal to accept a late claim for unfair dismissal under Article76(2)(b), a Claimant must successfully persuade the
Tribunal of each component of the two-stage test as set out in that Article. In
this case, the Claimant must demonstrate:
(a) that it was not "reasonably practicable" for him to submit his
complaint to the Tribunal in time.
The burden is on the Claimant in this regard; and
(b) having satisfied the first limb of the test, the Claimant must also
satisfy the Tribunal that the time within which the claim was presented was
reasonable in the circumstances.
10. The Tribunal noted the case of Skrzat v Jersey Telecom Group Limited (2001) JET
1005-66/11 in which it makes it clear that the Tribunal will only accept a
submission that it was not "reasonably practicable" for a claimant to
file a complaint within the relevant time limits in the "most exceptional
circumstances for example where some highly unusual and unforeseen event
intervenes in the time between the EDT and filing of the [Claim Form]… or
where a [claimant] genuinely did not know of the time limit or his
11. The Tribunal also kept in mind the English
Court of Appeal case of Marks & Spencer plc v Williams-Ryan  EWCA Civ 470 and the Jersey Employment Tribunal case of Jones
v Royal Bank of Scotland International Limited JET 1408125/06, both of
which state that the word "practicable" should be given a liberal
interpretation in favour of the employee.
12. The Claimant did not satisfy the burden placed
upon him as he did not show that it was not reasonably practicable to have
presented his claim within the limitation period. Indeed it was clear that,
very soon after the EDT, the Claimant was fully aware of the time-limit.
However, he delayed submitting the claim because he was undecided on whether to
13. Whilst the Chairman has sympathy for the
Claimant's predicament, the 8-week time-limit exists so as to provide a
framework and certainty to all users of the Employment Law. Indecision and
concern about the potential health impact of submitting a claim against a large
employer, whilst understandable, do not amount to ‘exceptional
14. The Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to hear
the Claimant's claim for unfair dismissal and this claim is dismissed.