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Sex discrimination: Part-timer's dismissal complaint out of time

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Biggs v Somerset County Council [1995] IRLR 452 EAT (1 other report)

    • EAT limits retrospective claims

      1 September 1995

      In Biggs v Somerset County Council (6 July 1995) EOR63B, the EAT rules that a part-time worker dismissed in 1976 was time-barred from bringing an unfair dismissal complaint in 1994 shortly after the decision of the House of Lords that the hours per week qualifying condition under UK law was contrary to European Community law.

In Biggs v Somerset County Council, the EAT holds that an industrial tribunal has no jurisdiction to hear a part-timer's claim for compensation for unfair dismissal brought shortly after the House of Lords' decision in R v Secretary of State for Employment ex parte Equal Opportunities Commission [1994] IRLR 178 in March 1994, in respect of a dismissal which took place 18 years previously. The EAT rules that the normal three-month time limit for an unfair dismissal claim applies, and that this started to run from the date of Ms Biggs's dismissal in August 1976. In reaching this decision, the EAT stresses that a claim of this kind is brought under UK domestic legislation rather than as an independent, "free-standing claim" under Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome. The time limit under the employment protection legislation applies because it is not incompatible with Community law.