There is a 3 month time limit for the submission of tribunal claims ( 6 months for redundancy payment claims) and this time limit is quite strictly applied, the exception being where it was not reasonably practicable for the claim to be submitted within the three months.
In this case John Lewis Partnership v Charman the employee was dismissed on 13th March so any unfair dismissal claim should have been lodged by 12th June. The employee was unaware of the three month time limit.
His appeal was heard on 24th May, but he did not receive the letter, dated 28th June, rejecting his appeal, until long after the 12th June deadline.
He submitted a claim on 21st July & an employment tribunal concluded that “it was not reasonably practicable” for him to present his claim before the determination of his internal appeal and that he had presented his claim within a reasonable period thereafter i.e. after he knew that his appeal had been rejected. The EAT upheld the tribunal’s decision.
This case does usefully illustrate that there is nothing to be gained by delaying the appeal process in order to exhaust the three month time limit.
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