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Appeal dismissed to grant extension of time in national minimum wage dispute

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

In the case of Griffiths and another v Cetin  the EAT, having considered the applications for extensions of time afresh, held in relation to the appeal against the costs decision that the principle that extensions would be rare and exceptional applied also to short extensions; on the appeal against the liability decision, the EAT concluded that the Appellants had changed their mind about wishing to appeal, possibly motivated by hostile behaviour against them on the part of the Respondent, but the strictness of the appeal time limit should not be relaxed because of a mere change of mind.

The case arises from a period during which Griffiths worked as a nanny for the Appellants, looking after their young children. The Respondent brought an ET claim which made various allegations against the Appellants. At the final liability hearing in November 2018 the only claim which was pursued was of a failure to pay her the national minimum wage (“NMW”). The Respondents relied on the “Family Exception” which applies in cases where a worker is treated as a family member. The judgment of EJ Walker was sent to the parties on 13 March 2019. The EJ ruled that the exception did not apply because the Appellants had not discharged the burden of proving that the Respondent was treated as a family member. There was agreement as to the amount which had been underpaid, applying the judgment. The Respondent was awarded £296.90.

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