If you have been unfairly dismissed by your employer, you have to act fast. You must make your complaint to the Employment Tribunal within 3 months of the date your employment is terminated. However, this time limit can be extended if you can satisfy a 2-stage test.
s133(2)(c) Employment Act 2006 outlines this test as follows:-
This is not a test of fairness and the burden is on you to prove that it wasn’t reasonable to bring your claim in time, it is not for your ex employer to disprove that it was.
1. When isn’t it “reasonably practicable”?
This is determined on a case by case basis but lets look at some arguments employees have advanced in the past:-
Illness – If you are ill for the 3-month period, or the majority of it, the tribunal is likely to decide that it wasn’t reasonably practicable for you to make your complaint. The illness you have must be sufficiently serious and the tribunal will look at all the relevant factors, including if your ability to complete other tasks in this 3-month period, i.e. moving house.
Ignorance – If you didn’t know you had a claim or that there was a 3-month time period, the tribunal will determine whether your lack of knowledge was reasonable and will consider your personal characteristics, i.e. age and experience.
Going through an internal appeal – this does not stop the clock and your unfair dismissal claim has to be submitted before the end of any internal appeal if the deadline is approaching.
New information has come to light you didn’t know earlier – if you discover new information that would make your claim stronger, you must be able to show that this information genuinely changed your view so you now think you have a claim, i.e. you were told your role is redundant but then your employer has hired somebody to replace you in the same role.
2. What is a “further reasonable period”?
Again, this is all dependent on the particular facts of the case but the answer is as soon as possible!
If you need advice on employment law, get in touch with us at BridsonHalsall by calling 01624 614422 or emailing Peter Russell in our Litigation team on firstname.lastname@example.org.