EAT dismisses appeal in relation to Unions handling of an employees race victimisation claims against her former employers


Re: Oni v Unison UKEAT/0092/17/LA

This appeal raised two questions: whether the Employment Tribunals Extension of Jurisdiction (England and Wales) Order 1994, art 3 limits claims thereunder to those by an employee against his/her employer, and the precise ambit of the Employment Tribunals (Early Conciliation: Exemption and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2014, reg 3. The ET had struck out the breach of contract claim on the bases that the 1994 Order, art 3 applied only to claims of an employee against her employer; and that in each claim the requisite Early Conciliation certificate had not been obtained.

The Tribunal dismissed the appeal on the basis that Order 1994, art 3 is “related entirely to claims by employees against employers” and there would need to be express language to widen the potential category of respondents in any respect, “i.e. even to an associated company of the employer”. Further, the ‘contact’ in reg 3 of the Early Conciliation Regulations 2014, “must involve a request by a person for the services of a conciliation officer in relation to a matter that (if not settled) is likely to give rise to relevant proceedings against that person”, and this requirement had not been met.

Andrew Smith was involved in this case.