I have entered into a (UK) agreement. It is incumbent on me to notify the other party of an outcome after which time the extension of time runs for 2 weeks. It states elsewhere in the agreement that notification by email is considered effective from the time of transmission so my question is this; If I submit the information to them at 11:00am on Monday, when does the time limit run until? 10:59:59 two Mondays later? 23:59:59 two Mondays later? 09:00 two Tuesdays later (being 2 weeks after the day after I notified? Or something else?

If the Monday (date of transmission) didn't count, then I might as well notify them at 16:55 rather than at 10:00, otherwise I will have given them almost an extra full working day.


When does an agreement start and end? I need a definition of 2 weeks deadline in UK law

I highly doubt UK law provides a definition for that. When material, that precision ought to be provided in --or deduced from-- the contract itself, its nature, or its circumstances in order to override the ordinary meaning of week.

The term "week" ordinarily means a period of consecutive days. This suggests that, in the example you outline, the extension includes the entire Monday of the second week. As you rightly point out, this criterion gives the sender no incentive to email his notification during working hours. However, that issue is presumed to be factored in when stipulating the deadline of fourteen days.

The language "time of transmission" is inconclusive as to whether the term "time" is intended for greater precision of deadline or merely to preempt the effect of significant discrepancies of time zone. For instance, if the sender emails his notification from U.S. West Coast Monday night, it counts as sending it on Tuesday because by then in the UK it was already Tuesday. You would otherwise need additional elements to support the position that "time of transmission" was meant for expiration of deadline to match the hour and minute of the notification.

  • Thanks very much. To clarify, it states that deemed delivery date and time is "at the time of transmission" and then later states that all references to time are to local time in the place of deemed receipt.I read this as stating that time is pertinent to the agreement, not just days, but could be wrong. – Legal DIYer Mar 2 at 14:27

Contract construction

A contract means what a reasonable person in possession of all the facts known to both parties would objectively understand from the plain meaning of the words as part of the contract as a whole.

If a reasonable person overhead someone saying “Get back to me in 2 weeks?” Would they understand:

  • anytime on the day that is 2 weeks from today, or
  • on or before this precise second on the day that is 2 weeks from today?

The former is the normal English usage and absent specific changes to that in the contract, it would be the one that is adopted.

The time of transmission on an email would simply serve to show it was (or wasn’t) sent on or before that date.

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