The EAT has handed down a decision (London Borough of Lambeth v Corlett) dealing with two points on the statutory dispute resolution procedures:
Extension of Time
The EAT held that a breach of contract claim dealing with failure to pay notice (following a summary dismissal) fell within the 'dismissal' provisions of the 2004 regs, so as to attract an extension of time for bringing a claim, rather than the 'grievance' section (which does not actually apply to breach of contract claims). The EAT's reasoning is possibly controversial (paras 11 and 12) but the result seems a fair one, to make up for the political decision by the DTI to exclude breach of contract claims from the extention of time rules.
Discrimination: grievances against fellow employees? On 31/8/06 I reported Bissett v Martins, which is authority for the proposition that the statutory grievance procedures do not apply when an employee brings a discrimination claim against a fellow employee, criticising the reasoning of the EAT.
HHJ Peter Clark has now officially cast doubt on the reasoning in Bissett and stated that, whilst he did not need to decide the point, it will fall for decision in the future as to whether Bissett was correctly decided (paras. 25-27).
London Borough of Lambeth v Corlett