Top Tips for employers when dealing with grievance appeals

While you may think that someone is a moaning Minnie, they may actually be raising a genuine grievance.

Going through the formal grievance procedure can be extremely time-consuming. After conducting the grievance hearing, investigating the facts and making a decision on what action to take, you may think that it’s the end of the matter. However, if an employee’s grievance has not been upheld, they can appeal the decision.

HR advice for employers

What do employers need to remember when dealing with appeals?  

Here are six points to bear in mind:

  1. Employers need to notify the employee of their right to appeal and should set a time limit for appeal, for example, five to ten working days from receipt of the grievance decision.
  1. Appeals should be heard without any unreasonable delay.
  1. The appeal hearing should be conducted by an appropriate person in the senior management team who ideally has not been previously involved in the case. In smaller organisations, this may be more difficult, so it’s a good idea to seek expert guidance from an Employment Law company.
  1. The employee has the right to be accompanied at the appeal meeting. This may be a fellow colleague or trade union representative.
  1. At the appeal hearing, the appeal officer should look at all the grounds raised by the employee as to why they do not agree with the original decision and consider whether the original decision was fair and reasonable taking into account all the circumstances.
  1. Employers need to confirm the appeal decision in writing as soon as possible.

The employee has the right to be accompanied at the appeal meeting. This may be a fellow colleague or trade union representative.

What happens if the employee is still unhappy with the appeal decision?

If the employee is still unhappy with the decision, they may seek other options to try and resolve the dispute.

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It involves an independent and impartial third party who will give the two sides a platform to explore the issues at the heart of the dispute. It is, however, up to the parties to find a resolution – the mediator cannot force the parties to make or reach an agreement as to how best to resolve the conflict. Although it is not appropriate to deal with all types of disputes, mediation can be useful to resolve workplace conflict, such as discrimination, harassment, bullying or personality clashes.  As a result, it is good option to consider.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, the employee may proceed to lodge a claim to an Employment Tribunal. With the fees now abolished, it is now easier than ever to make a claim. If you would like advice on how to prevent or deal with complex or numerous grievances, do not hesitate to contact Ellis Whittam. Our Employment Law Advisers can give you easy-to-understand and commercially-savvy advice to help you navigate through tricky workplace challenges such as these.

Need support?

Ellis Whittam’s Employment Law and HR Team understand the challenges that employee grievances can present. Our dedicated advisers can guide you through each stage of the grievance procedure to ensure you are fully compliant. Imagine having that clarity. 

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