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Constructive Dismissal and Grievance Procedures

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The EAT has handed down a very interesting judgment in GMB Union v Brown.

Ms Brown had a grievance against her line manager, a regional secretary of the GMB, flowing largely from the breakdown of their working relationship. She did not want him to deal with the grievance himself, as she was suffering from stress, and wanted somebody else to hear the grievance. The manager refused to vary the contractual grievance procedure, which provided he should hear the grievance first, resulting in months of argument, stress absence and eventual resignation by the Claimant.

The ET held, and the EAT upheld, that the GMB's refusal to depart from the grievance procedure amounted to a breach of trust and confidence - and thus the Claimant's constructive dismissal claim succeeded.