Employment Grievance Hearings for Employees & Executives

During your employment, there may be times when the terms and conditions of your employment contract are breached or when you are concerned by your employer’s or your colleagues’ actions or treatment of you.

Grievances can arise from a wide variety of circumstances in and out of the workplace. The essence of a grievance is a worker’s unhappiness at some aspect of the way he or she has been treated, either by his or her employer, manager, or one or more colleagues.

A grievance can happen to any employee inside and outside of the workplace and is based on their unhappiness towards the treatment received from their employer, manager or colleague.

If you are a high-earning director, executive or senior employee experiencing a workplace grievance, we can help you. As employment law experts in London, we provide exceptional advice and representation for employees across various industry sectors.

Contact our employment law team on 0207 9657203

or contact us online.

What is a workplace grievance?

A grievance is a concern or problem relating to anything about your job, including employment rights, working conditions, pay, failure of process, or any other way your employment might be treating you, such as:

  • Instruction to change normal working hours,
  • Being given an insulting nickname by a manager
  • Being told to wear more attractive clothes or makeup.

Equally, an employee might feel that they are being unfairly singled out for public (or private) criticism, over their work, timekeeping, or appearance. A classic example of this offensive behaviour is when a manager (or a colleague) drunkenly makes an (unwanted) sexual advance to another colleague at a Christmas party.

All of these circumstances can provide the basis for a lawful grievance.

The well-prepared (and wise) employer will have a clear grievance policy in place, which makes provision for grievances to be raised, investigated, and dealt with effectively.

In many instances, businesses have not got the appropriate policies and procedures in place, and/or have not kept them up to date. If they do not have one, you must follow the Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures.

What can I do about a workplace grievance?

You can make a grievance at any time, even under the grounds of disciplinary, redundancy or performance review against you. It is recommended to lodge a formal grievance before claiming constructive dismissal otherwise any tribunal-awarded damages can be reduced by up to 25%.

How does the employee grievance process work?

If you have a grievance, it's best to initially discuss it with your line manager or HR department as you be able to resolve the issue informally.

If you feel the situation has not been adequately dealt with, you should follow the formal grievance procedure by raising it to your employer’s HR department in writing. Your formal grievance letter should include the following details:

  • Details of the issue
  • The date it occurred
  • Any evidence to support your claim

Your employer is legally obligated to follow up and should arrange a grievance meeting with you to discuss more detail, followed by an internal further investigation.

After the investigation, your employer should provide you with a written response outlining their findings and any actions they plan to take. This response should also contain information on how to appeal the decision if you are not satisfied with the grievance outcome.

If you want a settlement, you should make it clear to your employer ahead of time through prejudice negotiations. By raising your issues on a without prejudice basis, you are free to negotiate with your employer an agreeable settlement.

Should I raise a grievance?

There are many instances where you should file a formal grievance, including:

Contract breaches - If you have experienced breaches of contract, such as violations of trust and confidence, and would like to initiate negotiations for an exit package with your employer.

While constructive dismissal isn't always viewed as severe as discrimination, an employer may be willing to negotiate an exit package once such concerns are brought to light.

An employer failing to address - If you've experienced unlawful wage deductions or breaches/changes to your contract and have attempted to address the issue informally, but to no avail.

Harassment or illegal/unlawful behaviour - If you've encountered harassment or illegal/unlawful behaviour, it's best to file a formal grievance. These are serious issues that your employer needs to be aware of, particularly if you intend to remain employed. Not only does it inform your employer of the issue, but it can also provide you with protection from victimisation.

When should I not raise a grievance?

Whilst raising a grievance may seem like the right thing to do, it doesn’t always result in success and can ultimately put you in a worse-off situation. Some instances where filing a formal grievance is inappropriate include:

Trivial matters - If the grievance is based on something trivial or minor that could have been resolved through informal means such as consulting with your line manager, other senior manager or the human resources department.

Denied opportunities - Matters such as being denied opportunities for career advancement or not receiving proper recognition for your accomplishments should not be raised as grievances.

Colleague disputes - If you have had a dispute with a work colleague, it is preferable to seek a resolution through informal channels or by involving your line manager or HR rather than filing a formal complaint which may be perceived as disruptive.

Whilst it may feel like the right thing to do at the time, matters like this can be easily disputed and hold no claim when brought forward.

Contact our Employment Grievance Lawyers in London 

If you’re based in London and have been a victim of workplace bullying, sexism, racism or drunken harassment, we can help you win a high-value settlement claim. Our team of expert employment lawyers is here to offer legal advice and a sympathetic ear to anyone who’s been badly treated by their employer or colleague.

As employment law solicitors, we’re highly skilled in advising and drafting grievances, making sure to preserve the employment relationship whenever possible, or where necessary, build a solid claim for proceedings. As appropriate, we’ll help you to gain redress either by way of a confidential Settlement Agreement, or an award of compensation via an Employment Tribunal claim.

So don’t hesitate to pick up the phone for us. One of our team will be able to see you in person within hours of your call.

Contact our employment lawyers at 0207 9657203

or contact us online.

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Caroline Walker Managing Director

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