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Delay of Just One Day Stymies Academic’s Unfair Dismissal Claim

university style officesEmployment cases are subject to strict time limits and independent advice is essential to avoid the consequences of missing them. In one case, a former university research fellow had her hopes of compensation dashed after launching proceedings just one day too late.

The woman, who had been made redundant, lodged against the university claims of unfair dismissal, unlawful deductions from wages and breach of the Working Time Regulations 1998. However, her case was struck out on grounds that the proceedings had been lodged a day after the expiry of the deadline. An Employment Tribunal (ET) found that it would have been reasonably practicable for her to lodge her claims in time and that it thus had no jurisdiction to consider them.

In rejecting her challenge to that decision, the Employment Appeal Tribunal found that the ET had taken the correct approach in law and reached a conclusion which was open to it. The woman’s arguments that ill health and IT problems had contributed to the fatal delay had been duly considered by the ET.