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Case Report - Unfair Dismissal - Extension of Time

View profile for Chris Dobbs
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Norbert v Hutton

In the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) in the above case, it was held that a Tribunal does have jurisdiction to hear a claim outside of the time limit, where the claimant brought it as soon as he was able to, having not had the mental capacity to lodge it within the 3 month time period. The Employment Judge concluded that it was not reasonably practicable for Mr Hutton to have presented the claim within the three month time limit. This was on the basis that th he remained unwell.. The Employment Judge relied upon Mr Hutton’s graphic description of his inability to function normally. The Employment Judge then looked at the second question of whether the claim was brought within a reasonable time thereafter. It was Mr Hutton’s position that he dealt with the claim as soon as he felt able. The Employment Judge had no reason to doubt Mr Hutton’s credibility and accepted this.

In Practice

Employment Partner Kate Fretten says, “This case is a reminder to employers that the 3 month time limit to lodge a claim is not always set in stone. If an employee can show that it was not reasonably practicable for them to lodge the claim within the 3 months, often due to health reasons, then the Judge will have discretion to allow the claim. The medical evidence will usually have to be compelling however”

At Frettens, all of our solicitors offer a free initial meeting to chat on the phone to answer your questions. If this article raises issues for you or your business, please call us on 01202 499255 and Kate or Paul will be happy to discuss it with you.