All workplaces should have clear disciplinary and grievance procedures so that employees know what is expected of them, they are all subject to the same rules and regulations, and they also know how to raise complaints themselves if it becomes necessary.
Disciplinary – If your employer has an issue with your conduct, performance or capability, they should discuss this with you when the issue first arises, or as soon as possible afterwards. If you find yourself in this position, make sure you note everything that happens, including dates, times, places and who is involved.
Where an employer takes a more formal approach, you should be told in writing what the issues are, how you are expected to rectify them and what action your employer proposes to take. No formal action should be taken against you before the situation has been investigated.
If the issue progresses to a disciplinary hearing, you are legally entitled to be accompanied to the hearing. You should also make sure that the person attending with you takes notes throughout the meeting so that everything is documented.
You can, if you wish, appeal against any decision that your employer takes. Any such appeal needs to be submitted in writing, stating why you are appealing the decision. Keep a copy of any letters or emails you send.
Grievance – a grievance can be anything from your concern about your employers’ working practices to a complaint about another worker, your manager, a customer or a supplier. The most common grievances are to do with changes to employment contracts, restructuring, health and safety issues and discrimination.
If you have a grievance, you should refer to the grievance procedure in your workplace and follow the guidelines.
It may be possible to resolve the issue through discussions with your manager. If this is not going to be possible, you should put it in writing and give it to your manager or HR representative. Either way, be prepared to let your manager know what you think should be done to rectify the situation.
If you end up making a claim to an employment tribunal, there is a strict time limit for you to submit your claim; this is normally 3 months (less 1 day) from the time when the issue you are complaining about last happened.
How we can help
Our specialist employment solicitors have a wealth of knowledge and experience in supporting employees throughout disciplinary or grievance procedures and will give you all the advice and guidance you need.
If required, we will represent you at an employment tribunal or at formal meetings, making sure that your best interests are safeguarded at all times.
If you would like more information or just want a confidential chat about your options, contact our highly experienced team today.