The ability for employees to raise a grievance is hoped to help employees and employers resolve issues and disputes before recourse to the Employment Tribunal.
All employers should have a grievance procedure and make it known to employees.
ACAS provide a code of practice which highlights a minimum level required to which employers should try to adhere, when addressing grievances or following a grievance procedure. This code of practice was introduced in 2009 at the same time the Employment Act 2008 was amended to allow Employment Tribunals the ability to increase or decrease awards for damages by up to 25% in certain cases, if either the employer or the employee unreasonably failed to comply with the ACAS code.
Formal grievances should be raised in writing and can be any concern, problem or complaint that an employee seeks to raise with their employer. Failure to raise a grievance in writing does not prevent an employee bringing an Employment Tribunal claim about the matter but it may affect the compensation awarded.
A grievance is often seen as a very key and pivotal document as it is often the first formal stage in which the employee’s issue is documented formally.
These documents often then form the back bone of any claim and are documents that are invariably read by the Employment Tribunal judges during the hearing of a case.
They are therefore key documents to get right and often legal assistance in their preparation is a wise move.
Of course many grievances are designed with a conciliatory tone, seeking especially to resolve issues before Employment Tribunal action is entered. It can also be very helpful to have assistance with such documents to ensure that facts are presented with the right approach and tone to endeavour to reach an outcome without the necessity of litigation.
Should you wish to seek employment law advice or have assistance with the preparation of a formal grievance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact one of our specialist employment lawyers.