Most employers have grievance procedures for employees to follow in the event they wish to raise concerns or problems that they face in the workplace which they wish their employer to address.
There is an Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures which should be seen as the minimum standard that an employer should adhere to when conducting grievance procedures. It is usual that the first stage for an employee to try and deal with their concerns on an informal basis, however where this does not result in satisfactory conclusions then more robust assistance and the necessity of lodging a formal grievance is usually the next step.
It is no longer a statutory requirement for an employee to raise a grievance with their employer prior to lodging any claims at an employment tribunal however where the employee fails to raise a grievance and conduct themselves to the minimum of the Acas Code of Practice they may suffer deductions of up to 25% of the value of their damages for failing to do so. It is therefore usually advisable for employees to seek legal advice before raising formal grievances and having the assistance of a solicitor to advise them during the process. If an employer fails to follow the bare minimum of the Acas Code of Practice when conducting grievances or does not conduct them in a fair and reasonable manner this can be a breach of the fundamental term of mutual trust and confidence and can give rise in some circumstances to successful constructive dismissal claims. The Biscoes employment team can assist in reviewing your employer’s grievance procedures, drafting formal grievances and advising throughout the grievance procedure. In the event you are facing concerns or problems at work and wish to explore how and when to raise a grievance please contact us for further assistance.