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Time limits - reasonable practicability

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Did the tribunal err in determining that it was reasonably practicable for an ET1 to be presented in time in circumstances where the Claimant was blameless and the delay was solely the fault of his representatives?

No, held the EAT in Pora v Cape Industrial Services Ltd.

The Claimant brought claims of unfair dismissal and race discrimination. He was referred to a law centre in June 2017, well within the primary time limit, and understood that the law centre would present his claim. He said he was repeatedly assured that the matter was in hand. Some months later, it became apparent to the Claimant that his claim had not been presented.

The EAT had sympathy for the Claimant and noted that he had done everything he could to present his claim in time. However, applying the strict approach set out in the authorities, there were no grounds for interfering with the tribunal's conclusion.

The tribunal allowed the race discrimination claim to proceed to a full hearing for determination of whether it would be just and equitable to extend time on that claim. This illustrates the often stark practical differences between the application of the "reasonably practicable" and "just and equitable" tests for extension of time.

Thanks to Jonathan Cook of Cloisters, for preparing this case summary.