Although the statutory dismissal procedure only applies where disciplinary steps are taken before 6 April 2009, employers may continue to face claims under that regime for some months. The time limit for bringing a tribunal claim under the SDP regime can be extended by three months because of ongoing compromise agreement discussions and for a further time period on some other grounds.
There is an automatic three month extension of time for submitting a claim to which the SDP applies if the employee reasonably believes that "a dismissal procedure" was still being followed when the normal time limit expired.
The EAT has confirmed that this is not limited to where an appeal process is underway but could also apply where the parties are negotiating a compromise agreement in respect of the potential unfair dismissal claim. (Eagles v Rugged Systems, EAT)
The EAT has also ruled that the normal discretion to extend time (on just and equitable grounds for discrimination claims and where it is not reasonably practicable to bring an unfair dismissal claim in time) can apply in addition to the automatic three month extension under the SDP. However, the discretion can only be exercised for a reason other than the continuation of a dismissal process (eg, the employee's mental incapacity). (Remploy v Shaw; Carter v London Underground, EAT)