Employment Tribunal Time Limits

Time limits and Employment Tribunal Claims

The Employment Tribunal exercises very strict time limits whereby claims must be submitted to the Tribunal. 

You will be unable to have your claim heard by the Employment Tribunal should you fail to submit your claim in time.

The applicable time limit will depend on what type of claim you wish to pursue. There are two types of limitation dates which you ought to be aware of. These are known as the primary limitation date and Employment Tribunal limitation date. The primary limitation date is the last date you must lodge a notification of Early Conciliation with ACAS. Your Employment Tribunal limitation date is the date when you must submit your claim to the Employment Tribunal once you have exhausted Early Conciliation.  

Before you issue your claims at the Employment Tribunal you need to notify ACAS that you wish to commence Early Conciliation. This process can last up to six weeks and the limitation clock is paused whilst you are engaged in this process. Should your dispute remain unresolved following the expiration of this period, you will be issued with a certificate and the time limit clock will start again. The next step will be to issue your claim at the Employment Tribunal.   

Claims of unfair and constructive unfair dismissal must be submitted to the Employment Tribunal three month less one day from the date your employment terminated. 

Claims for discrimination, harassment and whistleblowing must be submitted to the Employment Tribunal three months’ less one day from the first act(s) of discrimination and/or detriment you seek to rely upon. If you wish to rely upon acts which took place outside of this timeframe then it is possible to rely on an on-going course of discrimination. You are unlikely to be successful with this argument, however, if there are significant gaps between the acts you are relying upon. 

You will need to ensure that you issue claims for the unlawful deduction of wages at the Employment Tribunal within three months less one day from the date of the deduction, or the last deduction if it forms part of a series of deductions.

Claims for statutory redundancy pay (not to be confused with a claims for unfair dismissal on the grounds of redundancy) are a little different. If you have not received your statutory redundancy pay, then you will need to lodge a claim within six months less one day from the date your employment terminated.   

If you are looking to pursue a claim for breach of your employment contract, you will have three months’ less one day from the date your employment ended. You are unable to pursue a breach of contract claim in the Employment Tribunal whilst you are still employed.  

As with all claims issued at the Employment Tribunal, your Employment Tribunal limitation date will be subject to an extension in time afforded to you for the period you were engaged in Early Conciliation. 

If you are looking to issue multiple claims which have varying limitation dates, you should always work towards lodging your notification of Early Conciliation and/or your claim at the Employment Tribunal at the earliest date in order to err on the side of caution and to ensure that your position is protected. 

If you do issue your claims out of time, you will need to have significant justification as to why your claim should still be heard, and there is no guarantee that a Judge will be persuaded by this. 

Calculating your primary and Employment Tribunal limitation dates can be confusing and complicated and we would urge you to take legal advice at the early stages to mitigate the risk of you issuing your claims out of time and facing disappointment. 

Call our team for advice on 01827 317070 or email employment@pickerings-solicitors.com