If you are an employee with a complaint in respect of your employment, you can raise a grievance if your employer does not deal with it informally. You are entitled to have your issue taken seriously and your employer should have a fair procedure in place for doing so. Grievances at work can be complicated and raising issues is often daunting.
At Toner Legal, our grievance lawyers can advise you of your rights and represent you in ensuring that your case is considered properly by your employer. As employment law specialists, we have a high level of experience in dealing with grievances against employers and a strong track record of success in obtaining good outcomes for our clients.
We know that raising a grievance with your employer can seem daunting and we will give you the advice and support you need. We will work to resolve matters without the need for an employment tribunal wherever possible.
Our grievance services
We offer advice and representation to employees at all stages of the grievance process. Our services include:
- Advice on the circumstances of your grievance and the strength of your case
- Drafting a letter of grievance
- Ensuring you are prepared for your grievance meeting
- Negotiating with your employer if you wish to leave
- Advising you on appealing a grievance and preparing your appeal
- Advice and representation during alternative dispute resolution
- Preparing you for the appeal hearing
- Advice and representation if your grievance is taken to an employment tribunal
What is a grievance?
Grievances at work are complaints against an employer or something related to your employment (such as the conduct of a colleague). This could be in respect of a wide range of issues, such as:
- Being required to do work not included in the scope of your employment contract
- Amendments being made to your employment contract
- Discrimination, harassment or bullying
- Problems with your working conditions, for example, in respect of health and safety
- Being treated less favourably than other employees on the grounds of a protected characteristic such as sex, age, race or disability.
How do I raise grievances at work?
It is sometimes appropriate to try and resolve the matter informally first by speaking to your line manager. If this does not help, then you can move on to raising a formal grievance. In some instances, you might not want to raise the matter informally or if it is a very serious issue, you can raise a grievance without trying to discuss it with someone first.
Your employer should have a grievance process in place which follows the Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures, as a minimum. This could be set out in your employment contract or your employer’s employee handbook. You should follow the steps carefully.
It is likely to include the following:
- Write a formal letter to your employer setting out exactly what has happened and why you are raising the grievance
- Attending a meeting with your employer
- Receiving your employer’s decision
- The option to appeal
How will my employer handle a grievance?
Once your employer receives grievances at work, they are entitled to investigate the issue. They should invite you to attend a meeting, which will usually be within five working days. You can take a colleague or trade union representative to the meeting with you.
This is your opportunity to go through what has happened and tell your employer how you feel the situation should be dealt with.
Following the meeting, you will be told if your employer needs more information before making a decision. Once they are in a position to decide, they should do this and notify you in writing promptly, usually within a day.
If you do not agree with the decision, you can appeal against it. You will be asked to attend another meeting, generally within five working days. This could be with someone more senior than before. Again, you can be accompanied to the meeting by a colleague or trade union representative.
You should be given a final decision within a day.
What if my employer does not deal with my grievance adequately?
If you are not happy with the way in which your grievance has been handled, we can advise you of the next steps. We can contact your employer and put your case, asking them to take action to resolve matters. Where possible, we will represent you in negotiating a solution.
We can also represent you in alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, to try and find an acceptable outcome. Where necessary, we can take your case to an employment tribunal.
Grievances At Work – Further reading
For more information on raising a grievance and the grievance procedure, see:
Contact our employment lawyers for grievances
Our grievance lawyers have the experience to ensure your case is properly heard and your rights as an employee are enforced where necessary.