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Employment Law – Time Limit Extension of Three Months’ in Bringing a Tribunal Claim – Unfair Dismissal
The case of Ashcroft v Haberdashers Aske's Boys School  concerned a determination by the Employment Appeals Tribunal (“EAT”) on the extensions of time that can be granted when bringing a claim for unfair dismissal. The EAT held that the existing authorities, which state that an adviser's negligence or delay in submitting a claim should be attached to the claimant, applies to employment consultants and not just solicitors.
Furthermore, the correct position is that the existence of an internal appeal does extend the time for a claim to be brought before an employment tribunal.
According to Regulation 15 of the Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations 2004, the normal time limit for bringing a claim before the Employment Tribunal can be extended by three months in the event that the employee has reasonable grounds for believing that a statutory disciplinary procedure was being followed. The effect is that the employee will not be required to issue proceedings whilst the internal appeal is ongoing, which therefore means that the Employment Tribunal needs to only consider whether it was reasonably practicable to submit the claim subsequent to receiving the outcome of the appeal. It should be noted, however, that the claim must then be submitted within a period of time as the Employment Tribunal deems to be reasonable.
© RT COOPERS, 2008. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.