"I can't thank you enough"
Your employer’s grievance policy and procedure ought to set out the steps it should take when considering your grievance. Additionally your employer ought to follow HR best practice.
Simon Quantrill | Managing Partner
Key Steps in Handling an Employee Grievance
Your employer may require you to discuss your workplace grievance issue informally with your manager. Whether this is a feasible option will depend on a number of factors including what your grievance is about and if you are happy for an informal approach to be followed.
The informal grievance approach has its merits and may well resolve your concerns quickly with less fuss. It could involve one or two meetings with your line manager or it could involve a series of meetings involving any relevant people.
Whatever form it takes your employer should ensure you receive feedback about the actions being taken to resolve your concerns.
If the informal approach is unsuccessful, or if your workplace complaint is just too serious to be dealt with informally, your employer will need to follow a formal grievance procedure. If you have not already done so, this will require you to set out your grievance complaint in writing.
Your employer’s grievance procedure should say who your grievance letter should go to. If your grievance complaint is about that person, the procedure should tell you who should receive send it instead – most likely another manager. If it doesn’t check with your employer’s HR department/manager or just send your grievance letter to another manager or director.
After your employer receives your grievance it should arrange a grievance meeting or hearing with you. At this meeting you should have the opportunity to explain your grievance and how you want it to be resolved.
From this meeting, if your grievance has not been quickly resolved, your employer will have to decide how best to proceed.
Sometimes your employer will want to investigate your grievance complaint before they meet with you. Sometimes, after the first grievance meeting your employer will decide it has to carry out investigations. It will very much depend on the nature of your grievance.
As part of its investigation your employer may need to speak with witnesses and get statements to help them consider your grievance. Your employer may well need to review documents.
You should receive copies of any statements and documents considered by your employer as part of its investigation so that you can comment and respond to them if necessary.
Likewise your employer may ask to disclose any relevant documents and you should comply with such requests.
Once your employer has investigated your complaint it will normally hold a grievance meeting with you to discuss the merits of your grievance. The outcome of your grievance may be given at this meeting, or, more likely, afterwards confirmed to you in writing.
If you do not agree with your employer’s grievance decision you have the right to appeal against it. The grievance decision letter should set out your right to appeal, how you should appeal. It is important that you observe your employer’s time limit for sending in your appeal.
You employer’s grievance procedure should also explain your right to appeal.
If you appeal, your employer should hold an appeal meeting or hearing. It may also need to carry out further investigations.
Your employer should set out its appeal decision in writing.
Grievance meeting companion
You can request to be accompanied at your grievance meeting. Your companion can be a work colleague or a suitable qualified trade union representative, if you are a union member. As long as your companion is not involved in the grievance in some way your employer should not object to your choice of companion.
Your employer may allow you to bring your partner or another person to provide support. It is always worth asking particularly if you are unwell. Employers rarely agree to a companion being a solicitor or other legally qualified representative.
If you take a companion he or she will not be able to answer questions on your behalf but they can speak at the grievance meeting, respond to opinions expressed during the meeting and confer with you. Your companion can also make representations for you. Briefing note
You or your companion during the meeting should keep a written note of what is said and done. Your record may prove to be useful evidence in the event you have to take things further such as an appeal or bring a claim in the employment tribunal.
Changing the date or time of the meeting
If you or your companion are not available for the date or time arranged by your employer your employer should rearrange the grievance meeting on a date within five working days of the original date.
If you are unwell and not able to attend the grievance meeting you should let your employer know as soon as possible. Your employer should postpone it for a reasonable period of time until you are well enough to attend. If your employer thinks you are unreasonably delaying they could hold the meeting without you, ask you to submit a written submission instead of having to physically attend a grievance meeting.
Before holding a meeting in your absence, your employer will most likely seek a medical report from your GP to see if you are well enough to attend or if not what if any reasonable adjustments could be made to let you take part. For example, holding the meeting at your home, or at a neutral location.
Grievance about disciplinary action
Your employer should consider if it is appropriate to suspend the disciplinary action until your grievance is resolved. Alternatively your employer may decide that your grievance can be dealt with as part of the disciplinary process so it will be considered alongside the disciplinary process.
Your employer is not obliged to allow you to have witnesses at a grievance meeting. If you think their evidence is important you should ask. If your employer refuses you may be able to rely on this as part of a claim if you think your employer has acted unreasonably.
Reasons to Choose
Expert help from Solicitors
Jargon Free Advice
Convenient Easy Access
Best Client Care
Becoming our client is a straightforward process. However, before choosing Quantrills as your employment law solicitors you and us will want to be completely sure we are the right people to help you achieve your objectives. Having looked at our web site, if you like our approach and would like to discuss how we can help you, getting started is easy.
At Quantrills we are flexible in how we work with you and how we progress your case...
We welcome calls from our clients. Call us any time between 08.30AM to 5.30PM Monday to Friday to discuss your case. We will do our best to speak with you when you call, or if we can’t, you will get a call back as soon as possible.
01473 688 100Or request a call back
If it’s more convenient for you do come and see us. We do an excellent coffee. Whilst many of our clients don’t visit us, our offices are easy to find being just off junction 56 on the A14. Client meetings are by appointment and there is free car parking in front of our reception.Get Directions
We love emails; they help save time and avoid delays. Our case management system is set up to make the best use of them.Email us
Our web forms make it easy to give us the information we need from you. Our forms have a clever "save and return" feature so you can complete the form in more than one visit.View Forms
Latest Employee Knowledge Bank Articles
Use our knowledge bank of employee focused briefing notes, checklists and case reports to obtain trusted and accurate information about key employment law and HR topics to help you learn more about your employment law rights.View more