Employment Law is a complex area of law, which is well demonstrated by the fact that until recently there was more than one interpretation of what the law said in terms of how to calculate the time limit for submission of a claim.
Generally speaking, most claims in Employment Law are required to be submitted within 3 months minus one day of the ‘act’ complained of. For example, if a person was dismissed unfairly then the ‘act’ complained of in such a case would be the date of the dismissal/termination of employment. An Employee/Claimant would then have 3 months minus one day from the date of this ‘act’ to submit a claim in the Employment Tribunals.
However, the Employment Tribunals Extension of Jurisdiction (England and Wales) Order 1994 SI 1994/1623, amongst other legislation, inserted an amendment in the Employment Rights Act 1996 (which is mirrored in other employment law legislation) which made it compulsory for all Claimant’s to contact ACAS and obtain a certificate number before submitting a claim. The same legislation introduced a ‘stop the clock’ provision which meant that whilst a person was engaged in ACAS Early Conciliation their clock for submitting their claim was paused.
The question that arose was what time was left to submit a claim and how was it calculated once the ACAS Early Conciliation period ended. In the case of Luton Borough Council v Haque (where our Attiq Malik represented the Respondent to the Appeal) it was decided that a sequential approach should be followed. In summary this means that when a Claimant receives their ACAS Certificate number they will always have the time spent ‘stopped’ during ACAS conciliation plus one month if the original 3 month minus one day time limit passed during the conciliation period or within one month of the end of the ACAS conciliation period.
For further reading on this complex legal argument and judgement please see:
Liberty Law Solicitors