Discrimination Time Limits: Continuing Acts

Discrimination Time Limits: Continuing Acts

Hale v Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

On the 6th to 8th December 2017 the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) heard the case of Hale v Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Background

The claimant was dismissed from his role as a Surgeon due to having grievances submitted about him claiming he had made offensive racial remarks. The claimant then claimed racial discrimination.

Held

It was for the Tribunal to decide whether the act was a one-off with continuing consequences or a continuing act. The Tribunal had found that the claim made by the Claimant was out of time as the instigation of the disciplinary process was a one-off act.

The EAT disagreed with this decision. They argued that the Respondent had created a state of affairs originating from the start of the disciplinary process and continued until it had ended. Therefore, decided it was a continuing act and not a one-off act.

The EAT stated that it would be unnecessary for claimants to put forward a claim at every stage of a process and instead could rely on an act extending over a period of time.  Based on this decision, time limits for bringing claims are likely to run from the last event in a process.