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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.
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