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Ministry of Defence v P & Q - "A case should not be allowed to proceed on the basis of Micawberism (that “something may turn up”)" [2011] EAT

To amount to a "protected act" for the purposes of a victimisation claim under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the act alleged to be the reason for detrimental treatment must be done "under" or "by reference to" the 1975 Act (a similar connection is required for victimisation under Equality Act 2010). A complaint that did not in any way suggest sex discrimination, therefore, cannot amount to a "protected act" and support a victimisation claim.

In 2002 Court Martial proceedings were brought against TA Captain P; the proceedings were stopped as an abuse of process, and P complained using the Redress of Grievance system. By 2005 her complaints had not been dealt with, so she complained again. Eventually in 2010 the Army Board rejected both complaints. P brought employment tribunal claims alleging a general campaign of sex discrimination. Q, a regular army Lieutenant Colonel, had assisted P during the Court martial proceedings and with her complaints; he alleged damage to his career and brought tribunal claims of adverse treatment by way of "associative discrimination".

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