Chester 01244 405555

Grosvenor Court
Foregate Street Chester
Cheshire CH1 1HG
DX: 19990 Chester

Shrewsbury 01743 443 043

Lakeside House
Oxon Business Park
Shrewsbury SY3 5HJ
DX: 148563 Shrewsbury 14

Airport City, Manchester 0844 800 8346

Office 129
Manchester Business Park
3000 Aviator Way
Manchester M22 5TG

Send us a message
Our Offices

Unfair Dismissal and Time Limits

13th October, 2016

The recent case of The Governing Body of Sheredes School v Mr B Davies UKEAT/0196/16/JOJ raised the question; does intervention by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) make it not reasonably practicable to present a claim in time?

On the facts of Sheredes, it was held it does not.

In this case, the claimant instructed solicitors in relation to an unfair dismissal claim. On 8 October 2015 the instructed solicitors advised him to seek new representation. They failed however, to advise him that he needed to present his claim by 25 October 2015 or his time limit for doing so would expire.

The claimant began seeking new representatives to take on his case.

On 14 October 2015, the SRA intervened at the previously instructed solicitors firm, prevented it from contacting any clients and took possession of its papers. The claimant was unaware of this.

On 5 November 2015, the claimant saw another solicitor who advised him that he was out of time for bringing a claim for unfair dismissal. As a result, the claimant presented his claim without legal assistance on 10 November 2015.

At first instance, the Tribunal extended the time limit for bringing a claim for unfair dismissal. They did so on the basis that the SRA intervention was a ‘special reason’ which made it not reasonably practicable to present the claim in time.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has overturned this decision holding that the claim was out of time because failure to present it in time arose from the fault of the instructed solicitors by failing to advise the claimant of the time limit when they told him to seek new representation on 8 October 2015. If the claimant had been advised of the time limit then he would have presented his claim in time regardless of the intervention.

When acting for employers we always review the time limits in cases as usually, anything out of time, even by a minute, is time barred. It is a good way to start to defend a claim, to resists claims when a time limit has lapsed.

If you have any queries about time limits or wish to bring or defend a claim for unfair dismissal then contact our Employment Department immediately.

 

You might also be interested in...

Japanese Knotweed

21st August, 2019

What is Japanese knotweed? Essentially it is a tall fast growing Japanese plant with bamboo like stems and... Read More »

Top law firm boosts Chester team with key appointments

15th August, 2019

Leading legal practice Aaron & Partners has strengthened two of its teams with the recruitment of two new... Read More »

Top Shrewsbury lawyer earns national recognition

15th August, 2019

The High Net Worth Guide – an independent industry guide published by Chambers and Partners, has praised Lynda... Read More »

Contact Us