EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL
CLAIM OF: CASE NO.
UNFAIR DISMISSALS ACTS, 1977 TO 2007
I certify that the Tribunal
(Division of Tribunal)
Chairman: Ms D. Donovan B.L.
Members: Mr J. Browne
Mr A. Butler
heard this claim at Carlow on 23rd September 2013
For the Tribunal to consider the claim under the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 to 2007 it is firstly required to satisfy itself that it has jurisdiction to hear the claim.
A claimant must lodge a claim with the Tribunal within the period of 6 months beginning on the date of the dismissal (s.8 (2)(a) of the Unfair Dismissal Act 1977 as amended). The Tribunal is permitted to grant an extension of the time limit for lodging a claim to twelve months in cases where "exceptional circumstances" prevented the lodgement of the claim within the normal time-limit of six months (s.8 (2)(b) of the Unfair Dismissal Act 1977 as amended).
The within claim was made outside the statutory period of six months from the date stated by the claimant to be the date of her dismissal.
The reason the claimant put forward for the failure to lodge her claim within the period of 6 months was because she was waiting for information requested from the respondent under the Data Protection Act and that this Act allowed the respondent 40 days in which to respond.
The respondent objected to the Tribunal extending time and said an extension of time should be only granted for exceptional reason and that the standard to be discharged by the claimant in this regard was very high.
In Byrne v P.J. Quigley Ltd UD 762/1994 the Tribunal said that in order to extend the time it must be satisfied, the onus being on the claimant, that exceptional circumstances prevented lodging the claim within the six month time limit. In Fitzsimons-Markey v Gaelscoil Thulach na nOg  E.L.R. 110 the Labour Court held that a person could be prevented from doing that which they intended to do (such as lodge a claim within the time-limit) by being given wrong information or advice, or by having necessary information or advice withheld, by one whom they have a relationship of trust and confidence (such as a solicitor).
Thus there must be an exceptional circumstance and that circumstance must have prevented the lodging of the claim within the time limited for so doing.
The information sought by the claimant was not necessary in order to submit her claim. The Tribunal further notes that the period the claimant had to wait for the information was 40 days out of a period of six months and in any event she did submit her claim without having received that information.
The Tribunal is not satisfied that exceptional circumstances prevented the claimant lodging her claim within the requisite six months and accordingly the Tribunal does not extend the period within which the claimant may lodge her claim.
Sealed with the Seal of the
Employment Appeals Tribunal