Employment Law Time Limits For Bringing Employment Tribunal Claims

Employment Law Time Limits For Bringing Employment Tribunal Claims



In the​ case of​ Chouafi v London United Busways Ltd [2005],​ the​ claimant was employed as​ a​ bus driver by the​ defendant company. in​ October 2003,​ he was diagnosed with severe depression and was signed off work until February 2004. He was dismissed in​ January 2004 on​ the​ grounds of​ his medical condition and complained to​ the​ employment tribunal of​ unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.

The Employment Rights Act 1996 provides that an​ employment tribunal shall not consider a​ complaint for unfair dismissal unless it​ is​ presented to​ the​ tribunal within three months of​ the​ effective date of​ termination of​ employment.

However this three-month limitation period may be extended if​ the​ tribunal considers that in​ the​ relevant case,​ it​ was not reasonably practicable for the​ complaint to​ be presented within the​ three months.

There are similar provisions under the​ Disability Discrimination Act 1995.



The tribunal decided that:-

The complaint of​ unfair dismissal had not been presented within the​ three-month time limit,​ pursuant to​ s 111 of​ the​ Employment Rights Act 1996;
The complaint of​ disability discrimination had not been presented within the​ three-month time limit,​ pursuant to​ the​ para 3 Schedule 3 of​ the​ Disability Discrimination Act 1995; and
Accordingly,​ the​ tribunal did not have jurisdiction to​ hear the​ claims.
The employee appealed to​ the​ Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") against the​ decision. the​ EAT held that:-

Decisions on​ whether or​ not a​ claim would be admitted out of​ time,​ for unfair dismissal or​ disability discrimination,​ were essentially questions of​ facts on​ which the​ tribunal should decide based upon the​ evidence submitted by the​ parties;
The onus of​ proof was on​ the​ claimant to​ show it​ was not reasonably practicable to​ bring an​ action within the​ three-month time limit;
If the​ claimant failed to​ discharge that burden of​ proof,​ his/her case would inevitably fail;
In this case,​ the​ claimant failed to​ attend the​ hearing and provide more evidence about his mental health; and
The Tribunal was right in​ concluding that the​ employee had failed to​ provide an​ adequate explanation for filing his claim outside the​ time limit ; and
The tribunal's decision would be upheld.
The claimant's appeal was therefore dismissed.

If you require further information contact us.

Email: enquiries@rtcoopers.com

© RT COOPERS,​ 2005. 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.




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