In Thomas v Nationwide Building Society, Thomas lodged awhistleblowing detriment claim on 8 August 2014. This type of claim is subject to the new mandatory Acas early conciliation (EC) procedure, i.e. the details must be provided to Acas, conciliation will be attempted and the claimant can only go forward to a tribunal hearing, if he or shereceivesa certificate confirming completion of the EC procedure. Thomas thought that she did not have to have an Acas certificate because the nature of her claim meant she was exempt. However, none of the exemptions applied.
The tribunal ruled that Thomas’ claim was barred from a jurisdictional point of view. But rule 13(4) of the Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure 2013, allows for a rejected claim to be accepted if the rejection was based on a defect that has since been rectified.In this case, thenon-compliance with the EC procedure was a 'defect' capable of being rectified, with the provisothat it will be treated as having been presented on the date of rectification.
In the meantime, Thomas’case hadgone through the EC procedure andshenow had a certificate confirming its completion on 7 October. So, Thomas’claim would nowbe treated as having been presented on that date and a further hearing would beheld to consider the question of it being out of time, having been presented on 7 October. And there we were thinking that the now defunct statutory dispute resolution procedures were complicated!
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