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Summary Dismissal – Calculating the Effective Date of Termination

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In the recent case of Cosmeceuticals Ltd v. Parkin it was held that the effective date of termination (EDT) is not moved if notice is subsequently given following an earlier summary dismissal.

In this case, the managing director (the Claimant) of a skin care and makeup distributor was told not to return to work on 1 September following a two-month sabbatical due to long-standing performance concerns. The Claimant was placed on garden leave three days later and then on 29 September her employer, in an attempt to provide “clarity”, gave notice of termination with an ending date of 23 October. The tribunal in the first instance held that the EDT was 23 October. The EAT judged this to be an error, stating that the EDT was in fact the date when the Claimant was first informed of her summary dismissal (1 September).

Employers and employees alike should be mindful that the EDT is a statutory concept which cannot be changed by the agreement of both parties. Significantly in this instance, an EDT of 1 September meant that the Claimant’s case was presented out of time. The case has now been remitted to determine whether the Claimant presented her claim within such time as was reasonably practicable.