John Arthur v London Eastern Railways (t/a One Stansted Express)


[2006] EWCA Civ 1358; [2007] I.C.R. 193; [2007] I.R.L.R. 58; [2006] All E.R. (D) 80 (Dec), (2006) 103(43) L.S.G. 30

A leading employment law authority for discrimination cases involving a “series of similar acts”, some of which are in time and some individually time-barred.
In discrimination cases involving an asserted series of similar acts, the acts which are individually out of time should not be struck out at a preliminary hearing on submissions: instead evidence should be heard and findings of fact made before considering the connection between the acts. In many cases that means that strike out cannot be considered until final hearing.

The case was a whistleblowing case, and was also an important authority in identifying how loose the connection between “similar acts” can be where they all occurred by reason of the claimant having made a protected disclosure (or, by extension, by reason of the protected characteristic which gives rise to the discrimination claim).

Stephen was leading counsel for the successful appellant, instructed by Toynbee Hall Free Legal Advice.

Commentary on the case is contained in the main practitioner’s texts:

  • Tolley’s Employment Law Handbook, Chapter 14
  • IDS Employment Law Handbooks, Chapter 7 and in the following articles:
  • Whistleblowing: a shield or a sword?   – Emp. L.J. 2007, 78(Mar), 21-24
  • Extra time for whistleblowers. – N.L.J. 2007, 157 (7254), 14-15
  • Time limits in detriment claims: Arthur v London Eastern Railway Ltd t/a One Stansted Express: Court of Appeal – IDS Emp. L. Brief 2006, 819, 8-9


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