EAT dismisses appeal for amendments to race discriminatory unequal pay claim


Re: Patka v BBC & Anor [2018] UKEAT/0190/17/DM

This was an appeal to the EAT in relation to an application to amend. The claimant had brought a case of race discriminatory unequal pay as a complaint of direct discrimination. Upon receipt of legal advice he sought to amend his claim, by adding details about a subsequent decision on his internal grievance; adding a claim of indirect discrimination in the alternative; and to include a further basis for his complaint of direct discrimination. The ET had permitted the application to amend only in respect of the internal grievance, however, the other amendments added substantively new causes of action and arguments which had been raised too late.

The Court dismissed the appeal holding that the ET had permissibly understood the application to amend in respect of the internal grievance to have been limited to updating the factual background. On the issue of indirect discrimination, the ET had been entitled to conclude that this was not previously identified as part of the claim and that it raised different issues which meant the balance weighted against hearing them together with the existing direct discrimination claim. Similarly, the ET had been entitled to hold that the new argument raised in respect of the direct discrimination claim gave rise to substantively new issues for determination which if permitted would cause unfair prejudice.

Thomas Linden QC was involved in this case.