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Time Limits: Acts Extending over a Period

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[Thanks to Sarah Russell, solicitor at Russell, Jones and Walker, part of Slater & Gordon Lawyers, for preparing this case summary]

Is banning a contractor from site an "act extending over a period" for the purposes of calculating the limitation date in a race discrimination claim? 

No, it is a one-off event, said the Court of Appeal in Okoro & Anor v Taylor Woodrow Construction & Ors.

The Appellants were engaged through an agency to work for Taylor Woodrow.  A dispute arose, and on 7th April 2008, they were told that they were banned from site.  Another agency then sent them to the site on 18th April 2008.  They were again told that they were banned.  The Appellants presented a race discrimination claim regarding the ban on 6th August 2008.

A continuing act can occur where a policy disadvantages a person or group throughout their employment.  Time then runs from the date of dismissal.  In this case, the ban was held to be a one-off decision, particularly as there was no ongoing relationship between Taylor Woodrow and the Appellants.  The case was therefore out of time. 

The Court of Appeal noted that if there had been a reconsideration of the original decision, time would have started to run again from the date of the re-consideration.