Equality of terms claims: time limits
Equality of terms claims: time limits

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Equality of terms claims: time limits
  • The qualifying period
  • No extending time
  • Cases involving a transfer of undertakings
  • Civil court claims

The qualifying period

Proceedings on:

  1. a complaint relating to breach of an equality clause or rule

  2. an application for a declaration as to the effect of an equality clause or rule

may not be brought in an employment tribunal after the end of the qualifying period.

Note however that it is also possible to bring a claim for a breach of an equality clause or rule as a claim for breach of contract in the High Court or County Court in which case the longer six-year breach of contract limitation period applies. For more information, see: Civil court claims below.

In an employment tribunal claim the qualifying period is subject to any extension of time limits which may apply where the prospective claimant is subject to the requirement for early conciliation. For further information, see Practice Note: The early conciliation requirement—Extension to time limits (the 'stop the clock' provisions).

The 'qualifying period' depends on the category of case:

  1. a concealment case—the qualifying period is six months beginning with the day on which the worker discovered, or could with reasonable diligence have discovered, a fact deliberately concealed by the employer (the 'qualifying fact'):

    1. which is relevant to the complaint, and

    2. without knowledge of which the worker could not reasonably have been expected to bring proceedings, and

    3. which the worker did not discover until