What is a grievance?

Employees who experience a problem in the workplace are entitled to raise a grievance. There are a wide range of issues which may result in a grievance, such as:

●    illegal discrimination (eg. on grounds of race, sex, disability, age etc)
●    health and safety concerns
●    bullying and harassment by another colleague or manager
●    changes to terms and conditions of work

Any grievances raised should be dealt with in a methodical and objective manner. It’s a good idea to provide a written procedure for raising and dealing with grievances to all members of staff.

How should an employer handle a grievance?

The first thing to bear in mind is that it’s always better to tackle any workplace issues at the earliest opportunity, to prevent them from escalating. Ensuring that you stay alert to any employee concerns and deal with them immediately can save a lot of time and money in the long run. Often an informal chat is all that it will take to resolve matters.

If an employee raises a grievance, the first thing to do is check your own company grievance procedure and follow this to the letter. Although it should already be reflected in your policy, it’s important to make sure that you also stick to the rules set out in the Acas Code of Practice to avoid penalisation in the event of a case going to an employment tribunal.

Upon receiving a formal grievance, you should arrange a meeting with the employee within five working days. They are entitled to bring a companion to this meeting. Set out your decision in writing as soon as possible after the meeting and notify the employee of their right of appeal.

The employment law team at CH Legal can advise you on the best way to deal with any grievances, help you through the process and also draft a bespoke grievance procedure or review your current one to ensure it is in line with the latest regulations. To find out how we can help, get in touch with Caroline Tomlinson or call 0845 4786 354.