Settlement agreements and time limits

We have emphasised in a number of previous articles how strict the Employment Tribunal will be when it comes to enforcing their deadlines and time limits. This was proved in a recent case when a claimant brought a claim in the Tribunal for age discrimination.

The claimant was claiming age discrimination in relation to alleged misleading references by her ex-employer. The claimant acknowledged in her ET1 claim form that her claim was late but she stated that the delay in lodging her claim was due to the fact that her ex employer had insisted that she use the internal grievance process before bringing a claim to the Tribunal. Unfortunately for the claimant, the Tribunal refused to extend the time limit for her as the Tribunal did not feel that this would be ‘just and equitable’. The claimant appealed this decision to the Employment Appeals Tribunal but her appeal was refused.

This case is a clear example of the importance of adhering to Tribunal deadlines and the stress that can result from missing a time limit or deadline. Whilst the Tribunal does have the power to extend deadlines it is unusual that they actually do this unless there is a very good reason to.

Therefore if you have a dispute with your employer and have been presented with a Settlement Agreement, we would recommend that you speak to a member of the team quickly as they will be able to advise you on any potential claims you may have and the relevant deadlines and time limits relating to those claims.

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