Disciplinaries & Grievances


What Is a Grievance?

A grievance is an employment related concern, problem, or complaint that an employee (you), raises with their employer. If the problem cannot be resolved at a meeting between both parties, you may wish to raise an official grievance.

What Is the Standard Employee Grievance Procedure?

Whilst there is not a legal procedure that employees and employers must follow, there is an Acas Code of Practice which applies to the grievance procedure. It sets out several steps that should be followed by the employer in relation to you, to ensure that a reasonable standard of behaviour is maintained during the process. This process is as follows:

  1. The employee writes a letter to their employer detailing the particulars of their grievance.
  2. The employer will invite the employee to a meeting to discuss the grievance. This will occur after they have had time to consider the points that have been raised.
  3. If the employee is not happy with the outcome of their grievance, they will then have the opportunity to appeal the employer’s decision. The appeal should be in writing. The employee will then be invited to an appeal meeting.
  4. The employer will inform the employee of the final decision regarding your grievance.
  5. If they are still unhappy with the outcome, the employee may wish to take their dispute before an employment tribunal.

Our friendly and experienced employment team understand that raising a formal grievance can be a worrying and stressful time. This can be made worse if the outcome is not what you expected. We can assist you throughout the grievance process with the aim that you receive the best result possible.

Do I Have the Right To Be Accompanied?

You have the right to be accompanied by a colleague or a trade union representative in meetings. They may participate in the meeting but should not answer questions on your behalf.


What Is a Disciplinary?

Your employer may start disciplinary action against you if they have concerns over your conduct, capability, performance at work or absences. The aim of a disciplinary is to take corrective action to encourage the employees to perform better in the area of concern.

A “disciplinary” usually refers to the hearing itself which is a meeting where both parties are present and present their cases. However, the meeting is only one part of the whole disciplinary process.

How Does the Disciplinary Process Work?

  1. Prior to the meeting your employer must write to you and set out in a letter the grounds for taking the disciplinary action. They will detail their allegations about your misconduct or performance and the consequences of this, which may be an oral or written warning or dismissal. The letter should provide reasonable notice prior to the meeting to allow you time to put together an explanation for your behaviour.
  2. Your employer will arrange a disciplinary meeting where they will present their evidence of the complaint against you. You should have advance notification of the evidence they rely on. You will have the opportunity to submit your own supporting evidence in your defense at the meeting you will have the opportunity to explain your behaviour. You can be accompanied at this meeting, but you will need to request this beforehand.
  3. Following the meeting, your employer will let you know of the outcome and this will be confirmed in writing. The outcome could be a demotion, dismissal, or a warning. They may also choose to not take any disciplinary action and instead focus on steps to resolve the situation.
  4. If you feel the disciplinary action is unfair or wrong, you can appeal the decision. There is normally a minimum of a week within which you can submit your written grounds of appeal in a letter of appeal to your employer explaining why you do not agree with the decision. The employer will then schedule an appeal hearing.

We understand that if you are facing disciplinary action, this can be an extremely stressful and emotional time. Speaking to our experienced and friendly employment solicitors allows you to understand where you stand from a legal perspective. We can advise you on the best course of action and assist you in receiving the best possible outcome. Our friendly and highly experienced employment solicitors can advise you at every stage of the disciplinary or grievance process.

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