Is a reference to actions which 'may be discriminatory' in a grievance sufficient to amount to a protected act under s27 Equality Act 2010?
Not necessarily, held the EAT in Chalmers v Airpoint.
The Claimant brought claims, including a claim of victimisation. She relied on a grievance sent by email, complaining about her exclusion from two work events. She said that neither were acceptable to her, and both "may be discriminatory".
The EAT noted that the word 'may' usually signified doubt or uncertainty. It noted the absence of reference to sex discrimination, and that the claimant was experienced in HR. The tribunal's conclusion that there was no protected act for the purposes of s27 was not perverse. In view of the guidance in Martin v Glynwed Disstribution Ltd, it could not be disturbed.
Thanks to Charles Murray of Queen Square Chambers for preparing this case summary.