Adekeye v Post Office

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
CourtEmployment Appeal Tribunal
Judgment Date10 Mar 1993

Employment Appeal Tribunal

Before Mr Justice May, Mr K M Hack and Ms D Warwick

Post Office

Race discrimination - employment - internal appeal procedure founding claim

Internal appeal procedure can found race bias claim

The determination of an employers' internal appeal procedure was an "act complained of" within section 68(1) of the Race Relations Act 1976, where the employee was complaining that white employees would not have been dismissed in the same circumstances, and, accordingly, her complaint of unlawful racial discrimination made within three months of the appeal, but more than three months after the effective date of dismissal, was within time.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal so held in allowing an appeal by the employee, Miss Omolara Adekeye, from a decision of a London industrial on March 16, 1992, dismissing her complaint that she had been unfairly dismissed because of racial discrimination by her employers, the Post Office.

Section 68 of the 1976 Act provides: "(1) An industrial tribunal shall not consider a complaint … unless it is presented to the tribunal before the end of the period of three months beginning when the act complained of was done."

Mr Paul Dean for the employee; Miss Ingrid Simler, solicitor, for the employers.

MR JUSTICE MAY said that the employee was dismissed with effect from June 8, 1991. An internal appeal was heard on August 6, 1991 and by a letter dated August 15, 1991, she was told that her that her appeal had been unsuccessful. As she had been employed for less than two years she was unable to bring a complaint of unfair dismissal.

By an originating application received by the industrial tribunal on September 25, 1991, she complained that she had been dismissed for actions, regarded as a perk, which were connived at by her employers in respect of others who had not been dismissed. In substance she was complaining of unlawful racial discrimination.

The employee submitted that "the act complained of" for the purposes of section 68(1) of the 1976 Act, was, included or extended to the determination of her appeal and that the three-month period did not start until August 15, 1991.

She complained that white employees would not have been dismissed for doing what she was alleged to have done. She complained equally that white employees would not have failed on appeal as she had.

It was accepted that the employee's argument could not succeed if her complaint were for unfair dismissal under...

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3 cases
  • Jones v 3M Healthcare Ltd
    • United Kingdom
    • House of Lords
    • 19 June 2003
    ...over by Judge Collins, allowed the appeal. The tribunal rightly regarded itself as bound by the decision of the Court of Appeal in Post Office v Adekeye [1997] ICR 110. Adekeye's case was a decision in respect of the Race Relations Act, but the relevant provisions in the Sex Discrimination......
  • Lawal v Northern Spirit Ltd
    • United Kingdom
    • House of Lords
    • 19 June 2003
    ...1976 only gives rights to current employees. In so deciding the Employment Tribunal followed a decision of the Court of Appeal in Adekeye v Post Office (No. 2) [1997] IRLR 105, the correctness of which was subsequently the subject of an appeal heard by the House of Lords in D'Souza v London......
  • Post Office v Adekeye
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 13 November 1996
    ...out of time and declined jurisdiction. That decision had been reversed by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (The Times March 23, 1993; [1993] ICR 464). When the case was remitted to the industrial tribunal, the Post Office took the point that she was not entitled to complain under section 4(2)......

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