What are the time limits for making a claim in the employment tribunal?
There are very strict time limits for making a claim in the employment tribunal. If you qualify to make a claim, you must start the employment tribunal process within 3 months less one day from the date of dismissal, redundancy, resignation or from the date the last detriment suffered.
All employment claims have to go through early conciliation with ACAS prior to submitting a formal claim with the employment tribunal. If you are considering making a claim you must inform ACAS first, who will then offer the opportunity for early conciliation. ACAS will then negotiate, on your behalf, with the employer to try to come to an agreement of early settlement. This is a free service but you may wish to use the services of a lawyer to negotiate the best settlement for you.
It is vital that you start the early conciliation process within 3 months less one day from the initial complaint. This applies to all employment claims (except equal pay claims, which have a 6 month time limit).
To be clear, in this instance, the date you need to adhere to is the date of dismissal, not the date of appeal. Often employees make this mistake and then find they are out of time for making a claim, if the employer has dragged out the appeal proceedings.
If early settlement can’t be achieved through ACAS, ACAS will then issue you with an Early Conciliation certificate. You will then have one month from the date on this certificate to submit your claim to the tribunal.
Tom is a solicitor with 13 years qualification, specialising in employment and dispute resolution. Having trained in Chancery Lane, London, Tom developed a keen interest in contentious law representing many clients in the Royal Courts of Justice and at Employment Tribunals throughout the South East. After spending 3 years working for a niche commercial litigation and insolvency firm in the city, Tom moved to the South West and set up his own firm in 2010. Tom’s refreshingly straightforward approach to contentious employment and dispute resolution sets him apart from the field. Tom passionately champions access to justice for individuals and businesses who may not otherwise have the resources to access the courts and tribunals system.