Yet another decision on statutory grievances, this time dealing with the issue of whether a questionnaire under the Equal Pay Act 1970 can constitute a statement of grievance.
Under regulation 14 of the Dispute Resolution Regulations, statutory questionnaires are expressly excluded from what constitutes a statement of grievance.
The Claimant, who had served an Equal Pay questionnaire but not lodged any other grievance before bringing her claim, argued that a statutory questionnaire should be broken down into two parts. In the first part, the Claimant sets out the information about her case - and this can amount to a statement of grievance. It is only the second part, where the Claimant asks her questions, that is debarred from amounting to a statement of grievance.
The EAT (HHJ Peter Clark presiding), whilst recognising the point as arguable, rejected the submission. They held that the policy behind regulation 14 was to exclude altogether the statutory anti-discrimination questionnaire procedure from the statutory definition of grievance.
The EAT also rejected a subsidiary argument that the requirement to lodge a statutory grievance before claiming breached the Equal Pay Directive.
Holc-Gale v Makers UK Ltd EAT 2005