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.
Zeba Sayed, employment law editor
We are joined by Max Winthrop to go through the steps that employers need to take to ensure fair and robust disciplinary and grievance procedures.
Updated to take into account an increase in the cap on a week's pay, with effect from 6 April 2019.
In February 2019, Acas made changes to its guide on discipline and grievances, which complements the "Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures". We set out the key updates, in particular the amended guidance on workers seeking to postpone a disciplinary hearing because their preferred companion is unavailable.
Updated to include information on Talon Engineering Ltd v Smith, concerning the employer's refusal to postpone a disciplinary hearing to allow the employee to be accompanied.
Updated to take account of the General Data Protection Regulation, in force from 25 May 2018.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to grievances.
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