Legal Advice on Grievance
Grievance procedures are a useful way for employees to resolve issues at work without the need for formal proceedings or Employment Tribunal action.
In most circumstances, it is recommended to follow the internal grievance procedure to resolve employment disputes at work. However, every situation is unique so please contact our team of employment grievance lawyers for advice tailored to your unique situation.
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There is no official process adopted by employers in their response to grievances. Instead, employers use the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures as a general starting point for their grievance procedure.
Employees can review their employer’s grievance policy and procedure to find the correct process to follow when raising a grievance. This is usually contained within the staff handbook or available upon request.
The general process is usually as follows:
1. Informal Grievance
Normally the first step to discuss the grievance informally with your line manager or HR department. By speaking to the relevant person, it may rectify the ‘breach of contract’ and resolve any issues without the need for further action.
2. Formal Grievance
If the informal discussion has not remedied the breach, the next step is usually to raise a formal grievance. A formal grievance is a written document setting out the issue at hand. We have experience with preparing and reviewing written grievances for employees.
After submission of the formal grievance, you will be invited to a meeting to discuss your grievance in more detail. You are allowed to be accompanied by a work colleague or a trade union representative. You will then receive an outcome from your employer confirming whether your grievance has been upheld or rejected.
3. Grievance Appeal
If you are unhappy with the decision, you can lodge a formal grievance appeal. You will be required to write back to your employer explaining why you are unhappy with the outcome. We have experience in preparing and reviewing grievance appeals for employees.
You will again be invited to a meeting and provided with an outcome.
4. Contact ACAS
Assuming the above steps have not been successful, you may need to bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal to receive a remedy.
In most circumstances, you will be required to contact ACAS before bringing an Employment Tribunal Claim. ACAS are an independent third party who aim to conciliate between employer and employee. Usually, you have three months less one day from the incident (reason for the grievance) to contact ACAS.
We often support clients throughout the ACAS process – from filing the ACAS Early Conciliation Notification to liaising with the ACAS Conciliator, we have great experience in settling matters at this stage. If you require assistance or advice with your case, please contact our employment lawyers.
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If you require advice on how to raise a grievance and what to write we are here to help. Contact us and one of our team of employment lawyers will offer a 15 minute no obligation consultation call where we can discuss your matter and the next steps going forward.