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employment tribunal claim

Employment tribunal claim

Employment tribunal claim

Are you eligible to bring an employment tribunal claim?

It is easy to rush into attempting to make an employment tribunal claim, particularly if you believe you have been treated unfairly by your employer. However, there are strict time limits that the tribunal adheres to which employers and employees need to be aware of. Highlighted below are the key timeframes to make a claim.

What is the time limit for a claim?

To bring a claim, you must first notify Acas within:

  • 3 months minus 1 day for most claims. For example, this includes claims for unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, discrimination, being dismissed or subject to a detriment for whistleblowing and breach of contract.
  • 6 months minus 1 day for some claims. For example, statutory redundancy pay or equal pay.

This is known as the ‘limitation period’.

When does the clock start to make a claim?

The time limit usually starts from the date that the problem occurred. For example, this could be the effective date of termination or the date that you last complained of discrimination (if it is not a continuing act).

For example, if you were unfairly dismissed on the 8 May 2023, you will have until 7 August 2023 to make a claim.

If you are concerned that you have ran out of time to bring your claim, the tribunal does have some discretion to allow you to still make a claim. However, this is very limited and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. It is therefore an exception, not the rule so ensuring that you bring your claim within the time limits is imperative to ensure that you are not time barred.

Qualifying service

For most claims, you will need two years of qualifying service to pursue a claim. This means that you must be been continuously employed by your employer for two years.

However, there are exceptions to the qualifying period criteria.  If you are claiming you have been dismissed for the following reasons, it is automatically unfair and there is no qualifying service period:

  • Being involved in whistleblowing;
  • Being pregnant or on maternity leave;
  • wanting to take family leave;
  • being a trade union member or representative
  • taking part in legal, official industrial action for 12 weeks or less;
  • asking for a legal right;
  • being forced to retire;
  • taking action, or proposing to take action, over a health and safety issue.

Similarly, if you believe you have been dismissed because of a ‘protected characteristic’ within the Equality Act 2010, you could make a claim to the employment tribunal without two years qualifying service. The protected characteristics are:

  • age;
  • disability;
  • gender reassignment;
  • marriage and civil partnership;
  • pregnancy and maternity;
  • race;
  • religion or belief;
  • sex; and
  • sexual orientation.

We understand that for most people, bringing a discrimination claim can be an emotional and challenging time due to the seriousness of the allegation being made. Our experienced employment team can provide assistance to guide you through this process.

How can I make a claim?

You must notify Acas prior to submitting a claim in the employment tribunals. You will enter into an Acas Early Conciliation period of up to four weeks. This period of time is aimed at facilitating a settlement between the parties. If there is a reasonable prospect of settling the claim, the time period can be extended by up to 14 days.

During the conciliation period, the time limit for bringing a claim is paused. If a settlement is not reached, Acas will issue an Early Conciliation certificate and the time limit will resume from when the clock started running. You are required to have the Early Conciliation certificate in order to proceed with a claim to the employment tribunal.

It is imperative that the tribunal receives the claim (ET1 form) before the limitation period lapses. Ensuring that it is submitted at least one day before will therefore provide some certainty that the tribunal has received the claim. However, we recommend that this is submitted as soon as possible. Once your claim in accepted by the employment tribunals it will notify you and will send your claim in the respondent allowing the respondent 28 days to respond to your claim by submitting an ET3 form.

If you require assistance with either pursuing a claim or defending one, our specialist employment solicitors are available to help you on a confidential basis.

How Kerseys Solicitors can help

If you have any further enquiries, please contact Annalie King, Head of our Employment Team or Rosie Brighty Employment Paralegal at Kerseys Solicitors in Ipswich 01473 213311 or Kerseys Solicitors in Colchester 01206 584584 or email [email protected].

Kerseys Solicitors are just a click away visit our website and click “Call Me Back” and a member of our employment team will be happy to contact you at a time that is convenient to you.

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