The first step is to check your employer’s grievance policy (this may be in a handbook or available on your employer’s intranet). This should explain the logistics of sending a grievance and the timescales you can expect the grievance to be dealt with.
If there is no other prescribed format for submitting a grievance (some larger employers may have a specific form to complete) you could follow the example below: –
- Introduce yourself.
Set out who you are, what you do and how long you have been employed for. If you work for a large employer, it may be useful to include your employee number if you have one.
- Set out the complaint.
Set out exactly what has happened (or what your grievance is) and provide details such as dates of when the event happened (chronologically if there is a series of events), who was involved and any relevant witnesses (including their names and job titles). If you have any evidence to support your grievance, mention what you have and possibly attach it. If you are owed money, wages or holiday set out exactly how much you are owed.
Set out any relevant background, for example, have you already taken any informal steps to resolve the issue? If so, what did you do? What was the outcome?
- What do you want?
Explain how you feel and what you would like to happen in resolution of your grievance. Sometimes an apology may be sufficient but other times perhaps disciplinary action or training may be more appropriate. However, be reasonable, for example, dismissal of a colleague is unlikely to be a suitable outcome for a minor grievance.
- Try to ensure your grievance simply sets out what has happened.
- Avoid rambling or going off on tangents.
- Avoid repetition.
- Avoid using abusive or overly emotive language.
- Take a moment to review and re-read your grievance before you send it.
- Remember that the person dealing with your grievance may have very little knowledge of you, your role or department (again particularly within larger employers) so make the grievance simple for them to understand so they can quickly and easily investigate your concerns and help you reach a resolution.
There are strict time limits for issuing claims in the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal (including constructive dismissal – resignation), allegations of discrimination, deductions from wages and whistleblowing (3 months less 1 day of the dismissal/acts of discrimination/detriment/deduction). If your grievance relates to these matters, then you should take legal advice as quickly as possible and avoid postponing taking advice until you have received a response from your employer as otherwise you may find that the deadline has passed.
This article is intended as a general resource and no reliance should be placed on it. If you need specific advice on an employment matter, please contact us on 01483 303 636 or use our contact form or call 01483 303636 to see how we can assist you and to learn more about our fees.