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Extension of Time

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Is the mental health of the Respondent’s CEO sufficient reason to grant an extension of time for lodging an appeal?
Yes, held the EAT in MTN1 Ltd v O'Daly.
The Claimant was employed as Operations Director at the Respondent from 2012 until his dismissal on 17th September 2019. He issued a claim for unfair and wrongful dismissal in January 2020.
The claim form was sent to the Respondent’s at their registered address (their accountants) and a response was due by 5th March 2020. No response was entered, therefore a Rule 21 judgment was entered against them in their absence on 27th April 2020.
The Respondent’s deadline for appealing the rule 21 judgment was 8th June 2020 but they failed to lodge their appeal until after 4pm on that date, making it one day out of time.
The Respondent applied for an extension of time, relying on the mental health of the Respondent’s CEO, who suffered from ADHD and depression.

Applying the guidance set out by Underhill LJ in J v K, the EAT held that the CEO’s “impairments, specifically the ADHD, but also the associated depression, materially and substantially influenced and explain why this appeal was put in late.”  In the absence of any compelling counteracting reason not to extend time, the extension was granted.