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Statutory Grievance Letters

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The EAT has handed down another decision on whether a letter of complaint from an employee qualifies as a statutory grievance letter enabling an employee to bring a tribunal claim.

This issue was the content of the letter - did the letter raise the same complaint as the employee was seeking to have determined by the tribunal?

Elias P. has set out the following test (para. 25): "It seems to me that the objective of the statute can be fairly met if the employers, on a true reading of the statement and having regard to the particular context in which it is made, can be expected to appreciate that the relevant complaint is being raised."

On the facts, Elias P. held that the grievance letter, albeit containing a variety of lengthy complaints about the employee's health, did not raise an issue which an employer could reasonably understand had arisen under the DDA 1995. Thus his disability discrimination claim was not allowed to proceed.

Canary Wharf Management v Edebi