Workplace Report June 2007

Law - Tribunal procedures

Time limits

Case 2: The facts

Police sergeant Gurpal Virdi applied for promotion but was rejected. His appeal against the decision was rejected on 2 June and he was notified on the following day.

Virdi submitted claims for race discrimination, victimisation and disability discrimination on 2 September. The employment tribunal said the claims were too late; the time for him to bring his claims began to run from the date the decision was taken, the tribunal said, and it was not just and equitable to extend the time limit.

The ruling

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) agreed that Virdi's claim was out of time, and confirmed that the alleged act of discrimination was committed when the decision was taken, not when Virdi was notified. However, it said the tribunal had been wrong to refuse to extend the time limit.

Virdi had put his claim in the hands of solicitors and it had been their fault, not his, that the claim was late. The fact that he may have had a legal claim against the solicitors was not enough by itself for the tribunal to refuse to extend the time limit, the EAT said. His claim was allowed to proceed.

Virdi v Commission of Police of the Metropolis & another EAT/0373/06 ([2007] IRLR 24)