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Your employer should have a grievance policy that sets out the procedure for raising a grievance which is a complaint about unfair treatment at work. Your employment contract should state where the grievance policy can be found.
Sometimes problems at work can be dealt with on an informal basis and do not need to be escalated to a formal grievance. Where this is not possible, you should make a grievance formally in writing. Your employer’s policy should state where your grievance should be sent. If this is the person that you are complaining about, this may not be appropriate and you should seek guidance from your employer’s Human Resources team.
If you have a complaint or concern at work, we can guide you throughout the grievance process. We can help to prepare a grievance letter that will protect your position and provide clear and pragmatic advice about your options in order to secure the best possible outcome.
You should not be disciplined or dismissed for raising a grievance at work, especially if your grievance relates to discrimination. If this happens because you have complained about discrimination this amounts to victimisation.
The law also protects you from being victimised if you have 'blown the whistle' about certain categories of wrongdoing in the workplace. These laws are designed to encourage an open culture at work where employees do not fear speaking out about criminal offences and breaches of health and safety at work, for example.
If your employer has failed to investigate your grievance properly then the next step would be for you to submit a written appeal against the grievance outcome.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your grievance following an appeal and you have exhausted your employer’s internal processes, the next stage is to notify ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) of your intention to lodge a claim with the employment tribunal. ACAS will then give you the opportunity to enter Early Conciliation to attempt to settle your dispute to avoid issuing a claim. This is a compulsory step. You should be aware that there are strict time limits for making a claim to the tribunal and we can provide expert advice on this.
If your employer does not have a specific policy, then the ACAS Code of Practice for Discipline sets out the principles for conducting a grievance process.
It is a legal requirement for employers to have these policies and you could raise this as part of your grievance.
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