Appeal Dismissed for Failure to Prosecute Employment Contract Dispute.

The Appeal Board dismissed the appellant's appeal due to his persistent lack of engagement and demonstrated lack of interest in the matter.

The appellant, who worked as a Secure Care Worker Level 3.2 at the Kath French Secure Care facility, appealed the respondent's decision not to extend his fixed-term contract and sought reinstatement. The respondent contested the appeal, asserting that the Appeal Board lacked jurisdiction to address the matter as they had not taken any disciplinary action or formally dismissed the appellant; rather, his contract simply expired.

Throughout the appeal process, the appellant's participation was notably limited. He did not respond to the Department's allegations and failed to attend a directions hearing on 20 June 2022.  The appellant did not respond to email or telephone contact from the Associate to the Appeal Board. Subsequent attempts at communication, including phone calls and email correspondences, also went unanswered.

Due to the appellant's persistent lack of engagement and the substantial delay in the application process, the respondent requested the appeal be dismissed for lack of prosecution on 8 August 2022. In response, the Appeal Board listed a hearing for 15 November 2022, for a show cause why the appeal should not be dismissed.  The appellant did not attend this hearing.

On 15 November 2022, the Appeal Board dismissed the appeal pursuant to s 27(1) of the Industrial Relations Act 1979 (WA) due to his failure to prosecute the appeal. The Appeal Board found that the significant delay in the case, combined with the appellant's lack of response and engagement, demonstrated his insufficient interest in the matter. Moreover, there was no evidence of hardship to the appellant if his application were dismissed, and no indication that the respondent’s conduct had contributed to his failure to pursue the appeal.

The decision can be read here.