Employment Law Bulletin - Issue 88 - 14 September 2010

Tuesday 14 September 2010

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Employment Appeal Tribunal

Statutory grievance procedure

Serco Home Affairs Ltd v Watson UKEAT/0348/10/ZT
If a claim is made against a named individual they should either be named in the grievance letter, or there should be something in the letter that would enable them to be identified. Only those matters which have been the raised in the grievance may be the subject of a claim, and not subsequent matters about which no grievance had been raised. For the full judgment, click here.

Equal pay

Birch & ors v Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council & ors UKEAT/0121/10/JOJ
The Employment Judge had erred in holding that a document entitled "statutory grievance and questions pursuant to section 7B of the Equal Pay Act 1970" and which contained questions or requests for information could not constitute a Step 1 grievance due to Regulation 14. It was accepted that the title of the document was irrelevant and that the content was sufficient to constitute a grievance and was initially dealt with as such. The EAT distinguished Holc-Gale v Makers UK Limited [2006] ICR 462 on the basis that in that case the questionnaire was not intended to be a grievance. It considered Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust v Hurst and Others: Sandwell MBC v Arnold and Others [2009] IRLR 452 where the Court of Appeal held that policy considerations dictate that only a minimum of information is required in a grievance relating to equal pay. Recognising the fact that a grievance may be contained in a document which has a dual purpose, the EAT then held that it was permissible to exclude the questions prohibited under Regulation 14 in deciding whether the statutory procedure had been complied with. For the full judgment, click here.


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