Employment Tribunals have become less attractive to employees since the introduction of fees, reflected in the lower number of cases being brought. However, employers should be aware employees can also bring cases through the civil court system. This case involved race discrimination and alleged bullying and harassment which affected Mr Nayif’s mentalhealth. He brought his claim outside the 3 month window allowed and neither the Employment Tribunal nor EAT agreed to extend the period. Mr Nayif then issued a new claim of breach of contract and negligence in the High Court for personal injury damages resulting from the bullying and harassing behaviour. This particular case bounced between the Court of Appeal and High Court addressing the legal principle which prevents parties involved in a case from going to court again with issues that have already been (or could have been) dealt with in earlier proceedings. Eventually however, the case was allowed to proceed.
This case is worrying for employers as it demonstrates that there are other vehicles which an employee can use should the tribunal system not work for them. In particular, employers should remember that if employees suffer psychiatric conditions e.g. stress or depression as a result of discrimination, they have the option of bringing a personal injury claim.