Unfair dismissal claims have a 3 month time limit from the effective date of termination.
What is the EDT?
1. In cases where there is a summary dismissal ie a dismissal without notice, or a dismissal without notice but with a payment in lieu it is the date that dismissal was communicated.
2.In cases where an employee is given notice and either works it or is on garden leave, it is the date notice takes effect.
So far, so simples!
What causes the caselaw is the ambiguously worded dismissal letter such as:
You are redundant as of 9 July 2009. You are entitled to one month’s notice of termination. You can serve your notice period on garden leave and I enclose a cheque for £1500 equating to one month’s payment in lieu of notice.
Is the EDT 9 July or 8 August 2009?
Most employment lawyers would run the time limit from 9 July to be on the safe side. The more gung ho employment lawyer who runs it from 8 August and presents a claim on 7 November, will have to rely on the doctrine of ambiguity being resolved in favour of the recipient of the letter. Not an argument you could feel totally confident of running given the payment of pilon.Sometimes the sloppily drafted dismissal letter works in favour of the HR team.