Grievances

Managing an employee grievance can be an incredibly time-consuming task. While some complaints may be addressed informally, others may call for a formal procedure. In some cases, grievances may escalate into a disciplinary process or uncover another issue.

No matter the nature of the grievance or degree of support required, we offer a full range of Employment Law and HR solutions to help you tackle these difficult situations confidently.

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How we help

Make light work of employee issues

Respond to employee grievances the right way and prevent unnecessary strain on management time with our pragmatic Employment Law and HR support.

From setting up a grievance procedure to holding a hearing and managing appeals, we’re here to walk you through the process so that you can resolve issues quickly, compliantly and with minimum disruption to your business.

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Reduced management burden, quicker resolutions

Grievances can greatly disrupt your business – impeding productivity, taking time away from important projects and generally destabilising your workforce. It’s therefore essential to tackle these issues head-on, but mismanagement can be costly.

With step-by-step support from legally-qualified experts, you can quickly identify the best course of action, avoid legal pitfalls and secure the best possible outcome for your organisation, safe in the knowledge that you have conducted a fair procedure.

Whether you need help developing policies and procedures, support drafting meeting invites and outcome letters, on-site assistance with investigations and hearings or just an expert second opinion, our qualified team can help you get to grips with all kinds of grievance so that you can maintain engaged, high-performing teams.

"Your support is absolutely invaluable to us and gives us the confidence we need in resolving any staffing issues. Your response is consistently appropriate, helpful and superfast!"

Young Somerset

Popular FAQs

Common grievance queries and questions about our service, answered by our Employment Law and HR specialists.

Can an employee withdraw a grievance at work?

Yes, a grievance can be withdrawn by the complainant at any time.

How can I resolve workplace grievances?

It’s important to have a grievance procedure, set out in your Employee Handbook, that explains how any workplace complaint should be resolved, whether that be on a formal or an informal basis. A formal procedure will usually involve meeting with the complainant to discuss their grievance in detail, investigating the complaint before giving an outcome. It is also best practice to offer the right of appeal.

Can I ignore a grievance?

This would not be a good idea. If someone has complained about their treatment at the hands of a colleague or manager, ignoring the problem will not make it go away. In fact, it will probably make things worse. If the complaint is not dealt with properly, it could lead to a resignation and then a constructive dismissal claim or, depending on the subject matter, a claim for discrimination.

What is the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures?

Acas have set out procedures which should be adopted by all employers when dealing with a disciplinary or grievance issue. It involves investigating any issue, holding a meeting with those involved, providing an outcome and offering the chance to appeal. If an employer fails to comply with the Acas Code of Practice, it can lead to employees receiving uplifts in compensation of up to 25% following a successful claim.

What is the grievance process at work?

Most companies will have a grievance procedure set out in their Employee Handbook. If not, they should follow the Acas Code of Practice.

What should I do if an employee raises a grievance against me?

Refer to your Employee Handbook to determine the process you should use. If there is no handbook or procedure, then you should refer to the Acas Code of Practice. If the grievance is against you personally, you should refer it to a colleague to independently investigate.

How long should a grievance investigation take?

That will depend on the subject matter of the grievance or how many allegations are made. There is no legal time limit on how long the investigation should take and the Acas Code of Practice says that an investigation should be completed within a reasonable time frame.

Can you provide grievance training?

Yes. Our Grievance & Disciplinary training course has been designed by HR specialists to give managers and supervisors the skills and confidence needed to manage these essential processes. It can be delivered exclusively to you on site or at a location of your choice.

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At Ellis Whittam, we’re known for our bespoke service and the quality of our support. Not only is our expertise unmatched, but we take the time to know you so that we can function as a true extension of your team.

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