A primary school teacher, who claims that she was bullied out of her job by a newly appointed headmistress and subjected to sex discrimination when her job description was changed, has had her hopes of a substantial compensation payout boosted by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).
The woman had sued her local authority employers, claiming constructive unfair dismissal and discrimination. However, her case came unstuck at an early stage when an employment judge (EJ) ruled that her claim should have been launched, not against the council, but the school’s interim executive board.
Her claim against the council was dismissed for want of jurisdiction and she was told that she had left it too late to join the board as a party. However, in upholding her challenge to that decision and reinstating her claim against both the council and the board, the EAT found that the EJ had erred in law.
The EJ had failed to consider exercising his discretion to waive the relevant time limit so that the board could be joined. The council should also have remained as a party in that it could potentially bear some liability if the woman won her case. The matter was remitted to the ET for a full consideration of the facts.