Dealing with a grievance
Dealing with a grievance

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Dealing with a grievance
  • Grievance procedures
  • How to deal with a grievance—initial steps
  • How to deal with a grievance—grievance meeting
  • How to deal with a grievance—investigation
  • How to deal with a grievance—the decision
  • How to deal with a grievance—appeals
  • How to deal with a grievance—keeping records
  • How to deal with a grievance—employees’ obligations

All employers will have employees who are dissatisfied at some point in time. It is therefore important for employers to have a means of resolving their complaints. A grievance procedure can be an effective tool in resolving disputes and maintaining a happy workforce.

Grievance procedures

Grievances are described in the Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures (Acas Code) as concerns, problems or complaints that employees raise with their employers.

The right to obtain redress against a grievance is fundamental. It is implied into all contracts of employment that employers will reasonably and promptly afford employees a reasonable opportunity to obtain redress of any grievance they may have in the workplace.

The written statement of particulars of employment, which employers have to provide to their employees in compliance with statutory requirements, must include a note specifying to whom and in what manner the employee may apply for the purpose of seeking redress of any grievance relating to his employment (see Practice Note: Written statements of employment particulars—to 5 April 2020—What it must cover). It is clear, therefore, that Parliament considered that good industrial relations requires employers to provide their employees with a method of dealing with grievances in a proper way and within a reasonable period.

Furthermore, in proceedings to which the Acas code applies, any unreasonable failure to follow it