Grievances

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An employer is obliged by virtue of the Employment Rights Act 1996, section 1 and 3 to include a note in an employee’s written statement of particulars of employment specifying (by description or otherwise) a person to whom an employee can apply for the purpose of seeking redress of any grievance relating to his contract of employment. Where there are any further steps to make to progress an application to redress a grievance, the note should explain those steps or refer to the provisions of a document which explain them. This document must be reasonably accessible to the employee.

A grievance process will usually involve the following steps:

 

  1. The employee will set out in writing to the employer details of the grievance.
  2. The employer will call the employee into a meeting to discuss the grievance. The employee is entitled by virtue of the Employment Relations Act 1999 to be accompanied by a fellow employee or trade union representative as defined by the Employment Relations Act 1999. The employer must permit the employee’s companion to address the hearing, to put the employee’s case, to sum up the case, to respond on the employee’s behalf to any view expressed at the hearing and to confer with the employee during the hearing. The employer does not have to allow the companion to answer questions on behalf of the employee.
    1. The employer will carry out an investigation and then send the employee an outcome letter with its conclusions including whether the grievance has been upheld with reasons.
    2. If the grievance is upheld, the employer will set out what it proposes to do to provide redress to the employee. If the grievance is not upheld, the employer should give the employee an opportunity to appeal.
    3. If the employee elects to appeal, they will send grounds of appeal to the employer who will hold an appeal meeting. The employee is entitled to be accompanied by a fellow employee or trade union representative as defined by the Employment Relations Act 1999.
    4. If necessary, a further investigation will be carried out by the employer. Following this the employer will send the employee an appeal outcome letter indicating whether the appeal has been successful and, if so, what it proposes to do to provide redress to the employee. If the appeal has been unsuccessful, this is usually the end of the process.
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