There is no statutory grievance procedure that an employer must follow, but the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures sets out the main principles to consider and it is recommended that all employers and employees follow this format:

  • Let the employer know the nature of the grievance in writing
  • Hold a meeting with the employee to discuss the grievance
  • Allow the employee to be accompanied at the meeting by a trade union representative or work colleague
  • Decide on appropriate action
  • Allow the employee to take the grievance further if not resolved

Overlapping grievance and disciplinary cases

Where an employee raises a grievance during a disciplinary process, the disciplinary process may be temporarily suspended in order to deal with the grievance. Where the grievance and disciplinary cases are related, it may be appropriate to deal with both issues concurrently.

Collective grievances

The provisions of the Code do not apply to grievances raised on behalf of two or more employees by a representative of a recognised trade union or other appropriate workplace representative. These grievances should be handled in accordance with the organisation’s collective grievance process.

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