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Employment Appeal Tribunal

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Thanks to Barnaby Large of No.18 Barristers Chambers for preparing this case summary.

Can the Employment Appeal Tribunal hear appeals from parties who were not acting in the employment tribunal case below?

Yes, if the appeal has merit, is not an abuse of process or likely to obstruct the just disposal of proceedings, held the EAT in Martineau v Ministry of Justice.

A number of fee-paid immigration judges brought claims under the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000.

By r36 Employment Tribunal Rules the employment tribunal directed it would hear Ms James’ claim as a ‘Lead Claim’. The other Claimants (including Mr Martineau) had their claims stayed in the meantime and the outcome of the Lead Claim would be binding on all Claimants.

The employment tribunal rejected the Lead Claim. Ms James did not appeal, but Mr Martineau and another asked the EAT to accept their appeals.

In deciding it had jurisdiction to hear the appeals, the EAT reminded itself of s21 Employment Tribunal’s Act 1996 which permitted appeals under 2000 Regulations, was not limited to appeals from litigants in the employment tribunal below. Furthermore, safeguards were available in r3(7) EAT Rules - permitting early disposal of cases that were hopeless, an abuse of process or likely to obstruct just disposal of proceedings.