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24 October 2012
Lady Hale and Lords Wilson, Sumption, Reed and Carnwath
The time limit for bringing equal pay claims in an employment tribunal in most cases is 6-months from the date of termination of employment. In this case, the Supreme Court holds, by a majority, that claims which are out of time in an employment tribunal can still be brought in the civil courts within the longer time limit of 6-years from the act complained of. This is because what is now s 128(2) of the Equality Act 2010 provides that the civil courts may strike out a claim in respect of the operation of the equality clause if that claim can more conveniently be dealt with by an employment tribunal; but, the Supreme Court concluded, it cannot be more convenient for an employment tribunal to deal with such a claim if that claim would be struck out by the tribunal for being out of time.
"A very welcome addition to the very limited range of material available on domestic employment...