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Statutory Dismissal Procedure - Extension of time

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The EAT has, in Royal Bank of Scotland v Bevan, upheld the decision of a tribunal that time for presenting an unfair dismissal claim should be extended where an internal appeal is concluded just five hours before the three-month time limit expires.

Regulation 15 of the 2004 Dispute Resolution Regulations extends time from three to six months if, but only if, the employee reasonably believes the disciplinary procedure is still ongoing at the moment the three months expires. So where, as here, the appeal is disposed of five hours before the normal limitation period expires, regulation 15 does not operate to extend time.

However, the EAT held - somewhat controversially - that there is no rule of law that the existence of an internal appeal does not render it 'not reasonably practicable' to present a claim within three months, and that in those circumstances the tribunal was entitled to extend time.

[Thanks to Ed McFarlane from RBS Mentor Services for telling me about this case]