Can a Claimant withdraw a withdrawal?

Dylan Loughlin

[Beckley v Happy Days Day Nursery NIIT 13684/18IT]

Key Issues: Tribunal Rules and Procedures

The Industrial Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005

The Claimant lodged a claim against the Respondent in respect of Disability Discrimination by way of failure to appoint her to the job following information received by the Social Service Agency.

The Claimant’s mother was representing her and sent an email to withdraw the claim on the basis that she could not afford representation and the Equality Commission may take several months to evaluate the claim. Some 10 days later, the Claimant’s mother sent an email to the OIT to request that the withdrawal be withdrawn on the grounds that she had not found representation.

That brought the question for Employment Judge Orr, does an email to the Office of the Industrial Tribunal to renege on prior email withdrawal mean that it will be accepted, and the Claimant can continue to pursue her claim?

The OIT held that through finding of fact and legal principles, that the withdrawal was one of unambiguity and was a means to an end. Under Rule 25, the employment judge shall dismiss, and had no choice but to dismiss the proceedings following the withdrawal from the Claimant’s representative.

The importance on this decision is for both self-represented Claimants and Representatives, in that although the Employment Judges have discretion, it is difficult to go against the Rules set out by the Regulations. Furthermore, that communication to the Tribunal may mean the end of either the head/s of claims and/or the claim in its entirety, depending on the content of the email.

For help and advice on the Rules and Procedures of the Industrial Tribunal, please call Dylan Loughlin, Copacetic Business Solutions Ltd ( / 07772977023). Alternatively fill out our contact form here.