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Extension of Time

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Should a tribunal consider delay after the submission of the ET1 when deciding if it is just and equitable to extend time?

Yes, held the EAT in Secretary of State for Justice v Johnson.

In considering whether it was just and equitable to extend time under the Equality Act 2010, the tribunal held that it was only appropriate to take into account the period by which the submission of the claim form exceeded the usual three-month time limit.

The EAT held that the tribunal should have considered the effect that extending the time limit would have on the Respondent's ability to defend the claim, including the fact that it would result in the tribunal having to make determinations about matters that had occurred many years prior to the hearing. Albeit, this was not because of any fault of either party but because the claim had been stayed pending the resolution of a personal injury claim.

This was the effect of applying the guidance of the Court of Appeal in Adedeji v University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation (although the decision had been given after the original hearing of the tribunal in this case).

Thanks to Tim Kenward of 7 Harrington Street Chambers for preparing this case summary.