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Weekends and time limits

The Employment Appeal Tribunal in the case of Miah v Axis Security has considered when extensions of time when the last day for presenting a claim falls on a Sunday.

Employment Tribunal (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations

Rule 4(2) of the Employment Tribunal (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations (“the ET Rules) states that any time limit specified in an ET Rule, practice direction or order which expires on a non-working day (such as a Saturday or Sunday) will be in time if it is done the next working day.

Background

The Claimant submitted a claim for unfair dismissal by post on a Friday. The time limit for submission of the claim expired on the Sunday. The claim form was date – stamped by the tribunal office on the Monday.

The Claimant sought to rely on rule 4(2) to argue the claim was in time.

Decision

The Employment Appeal Tribunal decided the claim was out of time. Rule 4(2) does not apply to a time limit set by statute, as is the case for claims of unfair dismissal which are dealt with by the Employment Rights Act 1996. A claim form sent by first class post will be deemed to have been presented on the day it would be received in the ordinary post (which is the second day after posting not including Sundays or public holidays).

Comment

Claimants and advisers need to be very careful of time limits and it is always advisable to comply with any time limit in advance. Posting a claim close to the time limit could be risky and claimants are no longer allowed to submit claims by email but can use the online claim form.

When preparing defences, respondents should always check that claims have been submitted in time as a failure to do gives grounds to apply to have the claim struck out.

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