CASE REFS: 189/05 FET
CLAIMANT: Eithne McLaughlin
RESPONDENT: The Queen's University of Belfast
The decision of the Tribunal is that it does not have jurisdiction to consider the claimant's claims as they have been presented outside the three month time limit stipulated in the relevant legislation. Accordingly, the claims are dismissed.
Constitution of Tribunal:
Chairman: Mr E McArdle
The claimant did not appear, nor was she represented.
The respondent was represented by Ms R Carson, of Legal Services Limited, Queen's University of Belfast.
(a) the claims were presented to the Tribunal within the prescribed time limits; and
(b) if not, whether it was just and equitable, in all the circumstances of the case, to permit the claimant's claims to proceed.
(i) The respondent organised a recruitment competition for the post of Head of School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work in early 2005. The claimant applied for the post.
(ii) The respondent's short-listing panel decided, at a meeting on 10 May 2005, not to short-list the claimant, ostensibly on the grounds that she did not satisfy one of the essential criteria for the post.
(iii) The decision not to short-list was communicated to the claimant by correspondence of 27 May 2005.
(iv) The convenor of the panel, who is also the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor K Brown, met a number of unsuccessful candidates to provide them with feedback. He met the claimant on 30 May 2005 and provided her also with feedback and an explanation as to why she did not meet one of the essential short-listing criteria.
(v) The respondent had received no subsequent representations from the claimant under the respondent's grievance procedure.
(vi) At Section 5.5 of the claimant's claim form in response to the question, "Have you put your complaint in writing to the respondent?", the claimant had left the claim form blank.
(vii) The claimant's claim was received at the Office of Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunal on 18 October 2005.
"(1) Subject to Paragraph (5), the Tribunal shall not consider a complaint under Article 38 unless it is brought before whichever is the earlier of –
(a) the end of the period of three months beginning with the day on which the complainant first had knowledge, or might reasonably be expected to first to have knowledge, of the fact complained of; or
(b) the end of the period of six months beginning with the day on which the act was done …
(5) A court or the Tribunal may nevertheless consider any such complaint, claim or application which is out of time if, in all the circumstances of the case, it considers that it is just and equitable to do so."
Date and place of hearing: 13 April 2006, Belfast
Date decision recorded in register and issued to parties: