Extension of Time to Appeal Granted Where Appeal Exceeded Email Size Limit

In the case of J v K and another, the Court of Appeal (“CA”) granted an extension of time to appeal as the Appellant had not been notified that the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) could not accept emails exceeding 10MB.

Appeals must be received by the EAT no later than 42 days from the date the written reasons are sent out by the tribunal. In addition, the EAT must receive the appeal by 4:00pm on the last day.

In this case, the Appellant sent his appeal to the EAT five minutes before the deadline. However, the email failed to send as the attachment exceeded the 10MB capacity of the EAT’s server. The Appellant therefore re-sent his appeal in a number of smaller emails an hour after the deadline. His appeal was therefore out of time and his application for an extension of time was refused.

The Appellant requested that the EAT reconsider its decision, but the EAT held that the server’s limited capacity would not have been an issue if the appeal had not been sent five minutes before the deadline.

The Appellant appealed to the CA. The CA allowed the appeal and granted the Appellant an extension of time to file his original appeal.

Parties to an Employment Tribunal decision are sent a covering letter which refers them to a booklet which provides information on how to appeal. The booklet also states that the EAT’s email server cannot receive emails exceeding 10MB. However, the Appellant in this case did not receive the covering letter or booklet and was therefore unaware of the 10MB email limit.

The CA subsequently held that an appellant should not be criticised for their ignorance of information that had not been presented to them.

This case highlights the importance of ensuring that appeals are filed correctly and in good time before any deadlines. In addition, appellants should take time to consider any guidance booklets that are sent to them regarding future appeals.

If you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any other aspect of employment law, please contact us at 02920 345511 or employment@berrysmith.com.