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Dispute resolution regulations – questions of timings and beards


Technical questions surrounding ‘normal time limits’ and the point at which someone engaged in the statutory grievance procedure runs out of time to bring a case before a tribunal have been addressed in two cases before the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Broadly, the answer is that time starts to run when events lead to dismissal rather than grievance – use of the grievance procedure is encouraged by doubling the three-month time limit in which to bring a case before a tribunal.

It may have been exasperation at dealing with two cases on the same day involving the same point but in HM Prison Service v Barua Judge Underhill described the regulations’ provisions as “rebarbative”.

As the word was far too complicated for both the spellchecker and basic office dictionary alike, we did some investigation and discovered that ‘rebarbative’ means ‘repellent’ or ‘irritating’.

And for a real bit of Friday afternoon trivia here’s the connection between the dispute resolution regulations and beards – etymology. The root word of rebarbative is the Latin ‘barba’ meaning beard.

Here at HRZone we suspect the DTI’s decision to review the regulations might be a good one!

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