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A grievance at work is an issue or problem that an employee might want to raise with their employer.

Reasons could be a range of things, such as:

  • Maternity
  • Pay
  • Discrimination – race, age, sex or disability.
  • Contract of employment
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Working conditions
  • Workload

Grievances can be made at any time but are made usually before a constructive dismissal claim.

What are the initial steps of raising a grievance?

Below are suggested steps that you could take to resolve your issues. They could include:

  • Meeting – Arrange a meeting to express your issues with your departmental head or line manager. Someone from Human Resources may also be an option.
  • Correspondance – Write an email or letter to the departmental head/line manager expressing your issue.

If neither of these resolves the problem, the next step would be to raise a formal grievance.

It is important to note that if a grievance is not raised first, then an employment tribunal could minimise an award for compensation.

Grievance at Work


How do I raise a grievance?

The next stage would be to refer to your Staff or Company Handbook. If your company does not have a book then you can follow the ACAS Code of Practice.

It is very important to follow the procedure in the Handbook as any deviation may result in issues at an employment tribunal. If a claim is made then the employee only has three months in which to make that claim. The time limit runs from the initial date of the complaint.

Some helpful tips to make sure you follow the rules are:

  • Always make notes and keep copies of all discussions.
  • If your initial conversations do not resolve the issue then the next thing is to write to the employer. You should clearly state the issues, any resolutions that you can suggest and make sure to keep a copy of the letter.

Click here for a template of a Grievance letter

This template is based on one provided by the employee advice website, ACAS.

  • Meet with your employer – Your employer should arrange a meeting with you to discuss the grievance. You are entitled to take a colleague from work or if you belong to a trade union, a representative. You should be allowed to explain the problems that you are facing and the employer, in turn, should then provide ways in which to sort these out
  • After the meeting – The employer should write to you in detail to advise of the outcome.

What happens if I am not satisfied with the meeting to raise my grievance?

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting then you can write a letter of appeal to your employer advising why you want to appeal and why you do not agree to their decision.

A further meeting should then be arranged to discuss the appeal. It should usually be held by a different person to the original manager and again you should be allowed to bring a colleague from work or a trade union representative if you belong to a trade union.

Once the meeting has been held you should then receive a formal letter advising you on their decision. If the outcome is still not favourable, you do still have other options:

  • Mediation – You could ask your employer to use a mediator. This would involve an independent person who would try to help resolve the situation. The mediator could either be an internal or external person.
  • Employment Tribunal claim

Oakwood Solicitors Ltd


Why Use Oakwood Solicitors Ltd to handle my grievance at work case?

We have over twenty years of experience dealing with employments and can assist you with the process. We can review your case and assist you either before or after the process to advise you on whether you have grounds to make a case to the Employment Tribunal.

Regular updates will be provided by your case handler up until your claim has ended. This is to ensure the process is as stress-free and effortless as possible.


For more information on where to go next with your grievance at work, get in touch today for a free initial consultation. Choose one of the methods on the right-hand side of this page, or call us on 0113 200 9787 to find out how we can help you.


You can download a copy of the Grievance letter template by clicking the ‘Download PDF’ button:

Download PDF

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Solicitor and Head of Employment

0113 200 9776

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