From time to time we can find our selves dealing with a difficult situation while at work, it may be an unexpected change to your work contract and agreement or you may be facing an uncomfortable and hostile work environment due to harassment and or bullying in the workplace. During these situations it is important to follow the correct and formal Grievance procedure as laid out by the ACAS code of practice. Here, we have detialed everything you need to know about grievances and how to raise one.
Most companies will have a grievance procedure within their employee handbook, so it is important you check to make sure you are following your company’s grievance procedure. A grievance is usually made in writing and should be addressed to either your line manager or if your grievance involves your line manager, to the next level of management. Some companies require a form to be completed, so make sure you check your company’s grievance procedure.
Your letter should be concise and to the point as possible, stick to the facts of your complaint.
Explain how the issues raised have made you feel.
State the key facts of your complaint and explain what happened. Try to include any relevant facts, for example dates/times and witnesses.
Include any evidence you may have to support your grievance for example wage slips in the case of a grievance about pay.
If you have any suggestions as to how to reach a successful outcome then include these, for example moving to a different department.
It is important to remember that raising a grievance is about trying to work together with your employer to find a reasonable solution for everyone.
Make sure that your letter is signed and dated – keep a copy of the letter. If you post the letter it is advisable to send it recorded delivery in order so that you can retain proof of posting and check when it was delivered.
Your employer may initially investigate your issues and this can include a grievance investigation meeting.
Your employer should invite you to a meeting to discuss your grievance. This should be within a reasonable time frame upon receipt of your grievance.
You have the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or a colleague at your meeting.
You will be asked to discuss your issues and state your case during this meeting.
Your employer should then consider your grievance and advise you of the outcome in writing.
If your grievance is not upheld your employer should provide you with a full explanation of the reason for the decision.
You have the right to appeal against the outcome of the grievance. Your employer will usually give a date of by which time you should have registered your appeal.
Any appeal against the outcome of the grievance should be made in writing stating the reasons for your appeal.
Your company will invite you to a grievance appeal hearing to discuss the reasons why you do not agree with outcome of the original grievance meeting. This should normally be held by a manager that was not involved in any of the earlier grievance process, however depending on the size/structure of the company this may not always be possible.
You have a right to be accompanied at your grievance appeal by either a colleague or a trade union representative.
The appeal meeting itself is likely to be conducted in similar way to the first grievance meeting.
The employer should let you know the outcome of the grievance appeal and its decision within writing in a reasonable timeframe.
You should first of all check if your company’s grievance procedure allows a second stage of appeal. If this is not the case then you may need to decide if it is appropriate to take legal action. It is important that you seek advice as soon as possible as there are time restrictions on Employment Tribunal claims.