[Thanks to James English of Samuel Phillips solicitors for preparing this case summary]
Can a Claimant rely upon two letters, one sent before resignation and one after, as a grievance for the purposes of the now defunct statutory dispute resolution procedures?
Yes, says the Court of Appeal in Dolby v Sheffield City Council.
In a trip down memory lane for many practitioners, the Court of Appeal considered the statutory procedures under Part 2, Schedule 2 of the Employment Act 2002 and restored the employment tribunal's judgement that they had jurisdiction to consider a whistleblowing claim.
In May 2008, the Claimant appealed the outcome of a Stage 2 meeting. Several days later, she wrote a further letter which referred to protected disclosures and detriments. In July 2008, before the appeal hearing, she resigned. In August 2008, her solicitors wrote on her behalf, and referred to constructive dismissal.
Overturning the EAT decision, the Court of Appeal (adopting 'now discredited' over 'rebarbative' as their barbed epithet of choice) held that the two letters read together made the nature of the grievance clear. The fact one was sent after a Stage 2 meeting had been convened for an earlier grievance was irrelevant.