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Grievance procedure

Procedure for raising a formal grievance

If you’ve tried and failed to solve a problem at work informally with a chat to your manager, you many want to raise a formal grievance.

Your employer should also have a formal procedure for raising a grievance and you should follow this when making your complaint.

The process for raising a grievance is likely to cover the following steps:

  • putting your complaint in writing to your employer
  • having a meeting with your employer
  • how to appeal your employer’s decision if you’re unhappy with the outcome of the grievance process. 

All employers should have in place grievance and disciplinary procedures so that issues can be raised promptly and there are no unreasonable delays for meetings, decisions, confirmation of decisions or rights of appeal. Depending on what your grievance is about, you may be able to take the matter further, to an employment tribunal.

Each party should give the other the basis of the problem.  Employers should act consistently, carry out all necessary investigations.  The employee should have the opportunity of putting their case forward and have the right to be accompanied at any hearing by a trade union representative or work colleague and all employees should have the right of appeal.

Since 6th April 2009 there is no legal framework which has to be followed in regards to grievance or disciplinary procedures however, guidance is provided by ACAS in a Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance and, if it is not followed, an Employment Tribunal may increase any compensatory award by up to 25% for unreasonable failures by either party to comply with any provision of the Code.

The full version of the Code can be found at Acas.

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