When considering Employment Tribunal Claims a key point to be established is the Effective Date of Termination (EDT). This date marks the end of the period of continuous employment and is often the date on which the time limit for presenting a claim runs from. Tribunals are strict in enforcing time limits.
Generally, the Effective Date of Termination is either, at the end of the notice period, on the date of a summary dismissal (without notice) or, on the expiry of a fixed term contract.
In the recent case of Cosmeceuticals Ltd -v- Parkin, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decided that the Effective Date of Termination was earlier than the date agreed between the parties resulting in consideration whether the claim had been presented in time.
Cosmeceuticals Ltd is a manufacturer and distributor of skincare products and makeup. Parkin was the Managing Director. On 1 September 2015, following her return from sabbatical, Parkin was informed that she could not return to the job, due to concerns regarding her performance. She was placed on garden leave three days later.
On 29 September 2015, she was sent a letter giving notice that her employment would terminate on 23 October 2015.
Parkin bought a claim against Cosmeceuticals in respect of her dismissal. Both parties agreed that her Effective Date of Termination was 23 October 2015 in accordance with the letter.
The tribunal held that, despite the conversation on 1 September 2015, in which Parkin was told that her employment had ended, her Effective Date of Termination was 23 October 2015.
The EAT disagreed. The Effective Date of Termination was the date on which Cosmeceuticals communicated to Parkin that her employment was at an end. It did not matter that the employer had failed to give notice. The employer had sought to retrospectively put Parkin on notice to comply with its legal obligations. However, it had already dismissed without notice.
If you have been dismissed or are concerned about the time limit for presenting a claim we would be happy to discuss your circumstances with you. Please contact a member of the Employment Law Department.