Palfrey v Transco Plc, EAT, 15 March 2003

Appeal fails after confusion over termination dates: Palfrey was made redundant by energy firm Transco.

He was informed in writing that his termination date would be 19 May 2003 (which allowed him to work his full notice).

He was also informed that if he wanted to bring the final date forward he could, in which case he would receive a payment in lieu of notice.

Palfrey wanted to bring his termination date forward to 31 March 2003, and his employer confirmed this new date in writing and that he would be paid seven weeks’ in lieu of notice.

However, Palfrey submitted an application to the tribunal for unfair dismissal.

The tribunal concluded that Palfrey’s claim was out of time as it had been presented to the tribunal more than three months after the effective date of termination.

Palfrey appealed but his appeal was dismissed.

The Employment Appeals Tribunal found that Palfrey’s employment had been terminated on 31 March 2003. The second letter from the employer setting out the new termination date as 31 March 2003 was actually a withdrawal of the original notice prescribing termination on 31 May and a substitution, by way of a fresh notice, of a period terminating on 31 March.   


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