The time limit for making a claim to a court is six months, less one day, starting from the date the discrimination happened.
If you want to start a claim near the end of the time limit, you must make sure that the claim form (called an N1 form in England and Wales) is received by the court within the time limit and make sure you have a record of the date when it was received. Find out more about how to get and fill in the claim form.
Courts are open Monday–Friday. If your deadline falls on a weekend or bank holiday, your claim form must reach the court by the last working day before the time limit runs out.
There are some exceptions to the six month time limit:
- If discrimination by the same service provider happens more than once, each separate incident will trigger the six-month time limit. However, an act of discrimination which extends over a period of time can sometimes count as a ‘continuing act of discrimination’. A single act of discrimination, which has continuing effects, does not count as a continuing act of discrimination.
- In some rare circumstances, a court can decide that it is ‘just and equitable’ (in other words, fair) to hear it, even though it was sent to the court out of time. But you will have to show a very good reason (for example, serious illness) why you did not make your claim within the correct time limit. If you have missed the deadline for making a claim, send your claim form to the court as soon as possible together with a letter explaining the reason for the delay and any evidence you have to back this up (such as a medical certificate from your doctor).
However, the safest approach is to make a court claim within six months of the earliest act of discrimination.
If your claim relates to disability, you may still be able to use a conciliation service to try to resolve your complaint even if you cannot make a claim because you missed the six month time limit. But if you cannot settle your claim through conciliation, you won’t have other options.