27 November 2015 #Employment
In the recent case of Science Warehouse Ltd v Mills (UKEAT/0224/15), the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that it is not necessary for a claimant to go through the Early Conciliation process (“EC process”) again in respect of a new claim arising out of a related set of facts after the EC process has concluded and an ET1 presented to the Tribunal.
Science Warehouse Ltd v Mills
In Science Warehouse Ltd v Mills (UKEAT/0224/15), The Claimant resigned when she was on maternity leave and claimed for sex discrimination and pregnancy and maternity discrimination.
In their ET3 response, the Respondent argued that if the Claimant had not resigned, she would have been subject to an investigation and potentially disciplined as a result of a conduct issue that arose during her maternity leave.
On receiving the response, the Claimant applied to amend her claim to include a claim for victimisation, in light of this new information contained in the ET3. The Respondent objected solely on the ground that the EC process had not been used for this aspect of the claim.
The EAT allowed the amendment and held that the Claimant did not have to go through the EC process for each aspect of the claim. The EC process refers to any “matter,” which the EAT held should be interpreted broadly, and not to be a reference to each and every cause of action or claim. The amendment sought by the Claimant was related to the existing claim and the Tribunal was entitled to use its general case management powers to decide whether to permit the amendment.