A Plymouth-based firm has been told that it is out of time to appeal against an Employment Tribunal judgment after a former employee won a claim against it, the Plymouth Herald has reported.
The Glassblowing House Limited, which ran the Glassblowing House restaurant in Plymouth, lost an Employment Tribunal case brought against it by former employee Mr Martin Withers last year after it was found that the firm had discriminated against and unfairly dismissed Mr Withers. The firm was therefore ordered to pay almost £60,000 in compensation to Mr Withers. The company that owned the restaurant subsequently went into administration but has since been sold to Barbican Restaurants Limited, which has the same address and director, Ed Steven, as the Glassblowing House Limited. This therefore means that Barbican Restuarants Limited may now be legally liable for the payment of the compensation owed to Mr Withers.
The Glassblowing House Limited subsequently submitted an appeal against the Employment Tribunal judgment but this was rejected by the Employment Appeal Tribunal after being submitted 105 days too late.
The Glassblowing House Limited’s directors’ report to creditors stated that the company ceased trading on 7 July 2013. It further stated that “The company could have traded through this difficult period however it was hit by what it considered to be an…unfair…decision by the Employment Tribunal. There was also a liability to HMRC which was being negotiated with the belief that it would be settled from future trading receipts, the above action prevented any payment plan from being formalised.”
Mrs Angela Withers, wife of Mr Martin Withers, commented: “Martin and I are extremely happy with the EAT Registrar’s decision not to allow the Glassblowing House Ltd a late appeal. When making their decision the EAT registrar advised that Mr Steven had the knowledge and resources available to him to have submitted the appeal on time and to the correct address. Mr Steven did not follow the laid down procedures.”
Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “This Employment Appeal Tribunal decision reflects the fact that there are strict time limits for submitting claims and appeals in the Employment Tribunal – unless a party who is out of time can show a very good reason as to why they were out of time then