Was a redundancy claim in time?
What was the case of Patricia Avuru v 1) Favermead Ltd 2) Professor Khalili?
A claim for a statutory redundancy payment has to be brought within six months of the termination of the employment. Even longer may be allowed where the employee has made a written request for the redundancy pay in the initial six month period. In the case of Patricia Avuru v 1) Favermead Ltd 2) Professor Khalili these time limit provisions were considered together with the issue of when the time limit started to run from.
What were the facts of the case?
The Professor had employed Ms Avuru as a live-in carer until his mother’s death on 26 March 2017. Despite receiving her last pay on 31 March 2017 she considered her employment relationship continued and did not submit a claim for redundancy until the following year after her MP had sent a letter querying the redundancy payment on her behalf in March 2018. The employer argued that her claim for redundancy pay was out of time.
What was the court's decision?
It was held that irrespective of Ms Avuru’s subjective belief her employment had continued the effective date of termination was 31 March 2017 as established by reference to the evidence that this was when the purpose of her employment had come to an end, this had been her last pay date and when her P45 had been sent. The subsequent letter from her MP had not been sent in the six months and in any event, could not constitute a claim for payment of redundancy money under the statutory scheme.
Key takeaway points
Two points from this case. Firstly, subjective belief that employment has continued will not have the effect of postponing the effective date of termination where there are clear objective grounds to find that the employment has come to an end. Secondly, a claim for a statutory redundancy payment can only be made in the six months following the termination date or later where the employee has made a written request for redundancy pay within that time and it is just and equitable that they receive a redundancy payment
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