Handling an employee grievance correctly can mean the difference between a successful resolution and it escalating to an employment tribunal. You should have a clear grievance procedure in place, which must be easily accessible for all employees, ideally as part of your employee handbook.

  1. The informal route: when the complaint is made ensure line managers speak to the employee and look for a solution.

  2. Ask the right questions: start by exploring what outcome an employee wants. This focuses on working towards a solution.

  3. Moving to the formal route: if you can’t resolve the issue the employee must put it in writing to take it forward.

  4. Seek advice: you must comply with the Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures.

  5. Representing your company: the employee’s manager is the most appropriate person. If it’s about the manager then another manager or HR should take it.

  6. Establish the facts: carry out a full investigation and collect all relevant evidence and speak with other employees.

  7. Grievance interviews: invite any employee who the grievance is against to a meeting. They can be accompanied if they may be disciplined.

  8. Keep records: every step must be in writing, including meetings invites and decisions made. Always minute every meeting.

  9. Communicate: all parties must be made aware of what happens at each stage of the process, along with the outcome of any decision.

  10. Prepare for an appeal: if a grievance is rejected or partially rejected the employee can appeal. It should be heard by another manager.

If your business requires support and advice on managing a grievance, contact one of Croner’s employment law consultants on 0808 1454 436.

Last reviewed 7 March 2018