Time Limits

Unfair dismissal claims

Unfair dismissal claims must be brought within 3 months of the Effective Date of Termination ("EDT"). This is subject to some exceptions.

A response to a Tribunal claim by the Employer must be made within 28 days of receipt of a copy of the ET1, by submitting form ET3.

Other Tribunal claims

In most cases:-
  • Equal Pay claims must be brought within 6 months of the complaint.
  • Breach of contract claims must be brought within 3 months of the breach.
  • Discrimination claims must be brought within 3 months from the date of discrimination. Time will run from the date on which the discrimination ceases to occur.
  • Claims for a statutory redundancy payment must be brought within 6 months (usually from the EDT).
  • Unlawful deductions of wages claims must be brought within 3 months of the date of the unlawful deduction.
ACAS Early Conciliation

The above time limits could be affected and therefore altered by the ACAS Early Conciliation Scheme, which is compulsory for most claims.

EDT

The EDT will often be a crucial date in relation to Tribunal claims and will be:-
  • Where the employee is given notice of dismissal – the date of expiry of the notice period.
  • Where the employee is given payment in lieu of their notice period – the date on which the employee was told that they are being dismissed with pay in lieu of notice.
  • In the case of an instant dismissal – the date on which the employee was told of the instant dismissal.
  • Where notice of termination is not given directly to the employee – the date on which they ought reasonably to have become aware of it (e.g. if notified by post – the date on which the letter is received).
  • Where the employee is employed on a fixed term contract – the date on which the fixed term contract expires (assuming it has not been renewed).
Requisite qualifying periods

  • Since April 2012, 2 years’ continuous service to bring a claim for unfair dismissal.
  • 2 years’ continuous service for an entitlement to statutory redundancy pay.
  • 26 weeks’ continuous service into the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth for an entitlement to statutory maternity pay.
Statutory notice periods

The employer must give:-
  • Where the employee has been employed for less than 2 years (but more than 1 month) – 1 week.
  • Where the employee has been employed for between 2 years and 12 years – 1 week for each completed year of employment.
  • Where the employee has been employed for more than 12 years – 12 weeks.
The employee must give:-
  • Where the employee has been employed for less than 1 month – reasonable notice.
  • Where the employee has been employed for more than 1 month – 1 week.
Contacts: