Chalmers v Airpoint Ltd and others UKEATS/0031/19/SS

Appeal against the ET’s refusal of the Claimant’s claims of sex discrimination and constructive dismissal. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant worked for the Respondent, a company with 15 employees. She raised a grievance that she and the only other female employee in her office were unable to attend the Christmas party on the date for which it was organised, and that she felt excluded in other respects. Her grievance was not upheld, and she brought proceedings for unlawful discrimination on the ground of sex, and constructive dismissal, contending that her grievance was a protected act under the Equality Act 2010 ("EqA 2010") since it alleged that she had been discriminated against on the ground of a protected characteristic, namely sex. The ET refused the Claimant's claims, stating that the grievance contained no complaint or allegation that someone had contravened the EqA 2010. The Claimant appealed on the ground that the ET had erred in law in interpreting the reference to "discrimination" in her grievance as a reference to discrimination in general; the Claimant also alleged that the ET failed to address the possibility that she was victimised because the Respondent apprehended that she might bring tribunal proceedings.

The EAT held that there was evidence capable of supporting the ET's conclusion, and that the ET had correctly taken the view that, if the Claimant had wished to assert sex discrimination in her grievance, she would have done so. Further, the victimisation point could not succeed because the ET would need to have been satisfied that a protected act took place, but no evidence of such an act was led.

Published: 09/02/2021 15:30

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