Where a grievance hearing has been arranged but the employee subsequently cannot make the arranged time, how should the employer handle the situation?
Both parties are required to conduct themselves reasonably during grievance proceedings. The employee must make all reasonable efforts to attend a grievance hearing, but the employer must also make reasonable efforts to accommodate the employee if they have a genuine reason for not being able to attend. If the employee requests a postponement, the employer should enquire as to the reason for this and consider whether or not a postponement would be reasonable. In most situations, if the employee will have genuine difficulty attending the hearing, it will be reasonable for the employer to rearrange it to a time that is suitable for both the employee and the employer. The employer should advise the employee that it is important that they attend the rearranged meeting so that the employer can deal with the grievance properly and without unreasonable delay.
If the employee's companion is not available at the time arranged for a grievance hearing, the employer must postpone the hearing until a time suggested by the employee, as long as the new time is reasonable and within five working days of the time proposed by the employer.