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Case details

Indra Williams (Appellant) v Casepak Company (Grenada) Ltd (t/a Calabash Hotel) (Respondent) (Grenada)

Case ID: JCPC 2020/0045

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Grenada)

Case summary

Issue

Does the High Court have jurisdiction to hear a claim for unfair dismissal brought by a person dismissed from employment in a service other than an "essential service" as defined in the Labour Relations Act?

Facts

The Appellant started employment with the Respondent in 1989. Relations between the parties deteriorated and, in 2014, the Appellant was dismissed from employment. The Appellant brought a complaint about her dismissal to the Labour Commissioner, and the dispute was later referred to the Minister of Labour. As the Appellant had not been employed in an "essential service" as defined in the Labour Relations Act, section 45(4) of that Act gave the Minister the power to "invite both parties to reach mutual agreement on the establishment of an Arbitration Tribunal" in order to resolve the dispute, but provided that "no party is compelled to agree" to the establishment of a tribunal. The Respondent refused to agree to this and so no tribunal was established.

The Appellant brought claims against the Respondent in the High Court for wrongful dismissal in breach of contract and for unfair dismissal pursuant to the Employment Act. The Respondent applied to have both claims struck out. The judge refused the application in relation to the wrongful dismissal claim but ordered that the unfair dismissal claim be struck out, having concluded that the High Court had no jurisdiction to entertain such a claim in relation to employment in a non-essential service. The Appellant’s appeal against the striking-out of her claim was dismissed by the Court of Appeal. The Appellant now appeals to the Privy Council against the Court of Appeal’s decision.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Indra Williams

Respondent(s)

Casepak Company (Grenada) Ltd

Appeal

Justices

Lord Lloyd–Jones, Lady Arden, Lord Sales, Lord Hamblen, Lady Rose

Hearing start date

13 January 2022

Hearing finish date

13 January 2022

Watch hearing
13 Jan 2022 Afternoon session