Employee grievances

Bar Huberman

Editor's message: Even in the most congenial workplaces, from time to time employees may have concerns about their work, working environment or working relationships. Having a clear and effective grievance procedure in place can help organisations resolve such issues at an early stage, often without recourse to a formal process.

The written statement of terms and conditions of employment issued to every new employee must include specified information relating to the redress of grievances. Beyond that, there is no minimum statutory procedure to follow in relation to grievances. However, you must ensure that your process complies with the basic principles of fairness set out in the “Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures”. Although employees cannot bring employment tribunal claims based purely on a failure to follow the code, the tribunals will take any such failure into account when considering relevant cases.

While your organisation will be able to deal with many grievances in a straightforward manner, it is also advisable for it to have a clear policy for dealing with some of the more challenging aspects of employee grievances, including persistent trivial grievances and those raised in relation to ongoing disciplinary or capability procedures.

Bar Huberman, acting employment law managing editor

New and updated

  • Do traditional grievance procedures destroy relationships?

    Date:
    18 October 2017
    Type:
    Commentary and analysis

    HR professionals have relied on formal grievance procedures for years, but are they still fit for purpose? In an extract from his new book, Managing Conflict, David Liddle argues that resolution policies, rather than traditional grievance procedures, have a better chance of achieving harmony in the workplace.

  • Podcast: Handling grievances

    Date:
    1 September 2017
    Type:
    Audio and video

    We look at how employers can take a common sense approach to dealing with employee grievances.

  • Grievance procedure

    Type:
    Policies and documents

    Enhanced to include a new section on recording of meetings during the grievance process.

  • Collective grievance procedure

    Type:
    Policies and documents

    Enhanced to include a new section on recording of meetings during the collective grievance process.

  • Podcast: Dealing with covert recordings

    Date:
    18 August 2017
    Type:
    Audio and video

    Employers are increasingly encountering employees covertly recording disciplinary and grievance meetings. In this week's podcast, we discuss how an employer should deal with this.

  • Date:
    5 July 2017
    Type:
    Legal guidance

    Dealing with a grievance promptly and fairly is vital for employers aiming to reduce the risk of employment tribunal claims. Zeba Sayed sets out a five-step guide for HR on how to conduct a successful grievance procedure.

  • Podcast: Disciplinary investigations and hearings, and dismissals

    Date:
    7 October 2016
    Type:
    Audio and video

    In this week's feature-length podcast, we are joined by special guests Nicky Stibbs and Max Winthrop to discuss some common areas of concern around the termination of employment.

  • How to deal with an employee who makes, or requests to make, a recording of a meeting

    Type:
    How to

    Practical guidance on dealing with a situation where an employee requests to record a meeting or has recorded a meeting covertly.

  • Grievance procedures: health (England and Wales)

    Type:
    Employment law manual

    Additional information on the law on grievance procedures for NHS employers, including dealing with bullying and harassment and job planning and pay progression disputes. To be read in conjunction with the general information on the law on grievance procedures.

  • Unfair dismissal: No entitlement to have disciplinary proceedings suspended while grievance considered

    Date:
    1 August 2015
    Type:
    Law reports

    In Jinadu v Docklands Buses Ltd EAT/0434/14, the EAT held that an employee was not entitled to have her disciplinary proceedings suspended while the employer considered a grievance that she had raised about her treatment. However, the case was remitted because the tribunal had failed to make clear findings as to whether she was dismissed for gross misconduct or for poor performance.