Mr Charman was dismissed on 13 March 2010. He therefore had to present his claim to the Tribunal by 12 June 2010.
He appealed the decision internally and attended an appeal hearing on 24 May 2010. He was waiting for the appeal decision when the Tribunal deadline passed. Finally, on 28 June 2010 his employer sent him a letter dismissing his appeal. Mr Charman did not receive the letter until mid-July as he was away on holiday.
Mr Charman submitted a claim for unfair dismissal on 21 July 2010. Although he was clearly outside the normal time limits, the Tribunal noted Mr Charman’s age (he was 20) and lack of knowledge of the law. It also noted that he had presented his claim reasonably promptly after becoming aware that his appeal had been dismissed. It held that it had not been reasonably practical for Mr Charman to present a claim by the deadline of 12 June and extended the time limit to allow his claim to proceed. The EAT agreed.
This decision highlights that Tribunals will sometimes permit claims to proceed, even though submitted outside the normal time limit.
John Lewis Partnership v Charman UKEAT/0079/11