Case 6: The facts
Mr Procek, a Polish employee, brought a tribunal claim for race discrimination. He had previously written his employers a grievance letter, suggesting matters be dealt with on an informal basis, failing which he would lodge a step 1 written grievance in accordance with the Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations 2004.
The employers rejected his grievance but did not offer him the right of appeal, as they did not think they were in the statutory procedure. Procek did not submit any further written grievance, but instead lodged his tribunal claim. The tribunal refused to hear his claim on grounds that he had not submitted a written grievance as required by the statutory dispute resolution procedures, because he had explicitly stated in his letter that it was informal. Procek appealed.
The EAT upheld Procek’s appeal and reinstated his discrimination claim. Whatever he had said in his letter, the fact was that he had set out his grievance in writing. That was all that was required under the statutory dispute resolution procedures. Although, arguably in these circumstances, the employers should not be penalised by uplift in compensation for not notifying him of his right of appeal, that did not necessarily follow. The employers knew what the grievance was and they had every opportunity to deal with it properly.Procek v Oakford Farms Ltd UKEAT/0049/08