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Out of time to make a claim to the Employment Tribunal? Not necessarily…

Calendar August 19, 2017

Following the Supreme Court’s decision on 26th July 2017 that rendered Employment Tribunal fees introduced in 2013 illegal, it appears that many questions still remain unanswered.

Following the initial reports of the ruling in Dhami v Tesco Stores, it was thought that thIS claim had been reinstated in light of the Supreme Court decision regarding ET fees.

The judgement in Dhami v Tesco Stores Ltd has now been published and although the illegal tribunal fees were mentioned, the reason for reinstating the claim was due to the fact that the Respondent was unable to confirm the Claimant’s last day of employment.

The Claimant had originally been absent from work long term due to illness, and following a series of meetings between the Claimant and the Respondent, it was decided that the Claimant would take a ‘lifestyle break’. The effect of the lifestyle break was to terminate the contract of employment.

In his judgement, Employment Judge Wright makes it clear that should the application to reinstate the claim is on the basis of the illegality of fees, then the ruling would be stayed pending the MOJ and HMCTS decision on how to proceed.

However, in this case, the application to reinstate was made on the basis that there was confusion over when the limit to bring a claim expired. The various correspondence submitted by the Claimant, including P45 and confirmation of termination, cited varying dates upon which the contract ceased. Due to the Claimant’s ongoing health issues and personal circumstances at the time, she became confused and although she originally submitted various ET1 claim forms and the second one was 12 days out of time.

Judge Wright allowed the claim to be reinstated as there was obvious confusion over the Claimant’s effective day of termination. These are very unique circumstances, however, it goes to show that even though the time limit to bring a claim may be expired, there are circumstances under which it may be extended.

Reports are starting to pop up that claims struck out for non-payment of fees are now being reinstated, however, this are as of yet unverified.
If you believe that you have a claim that could qualify for an extension of time, or require expert legal advice for expert legal advice for any other Employment Law or HR related issues, please contact our Expert team of employment lawyers today.


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