Should I submit a grievance at work?

by Direct2Lawyers on December 17, 2012

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If you think that you’ve suffered some form of detriment at work then you may wish to take action to complain about this and (if you think that the problem will recur) stop the same thing happening again. Whether you’ve been bullied, harassed, discriminated against or had your contract breached there should be a grievance process in place at work which will allow you to try and resolve your problems “internally”.

  1. Why would I want to submit a grievance?
  2. The disadvantages of submitting a grievance
  3. The advantages of submitting a grievance
  4. Conclusion

Why would I want to submit a grievance?

If you’ve suffered any form of detriment in the workplace then you may wish to submit a complaint to your employer regarding this – such complaints are also known as a “grievance”. The aim of such complaints is to register the fact that a particular event has occurred and to encourage your employer to investigate this event and to take appropriate steps (if necessary) to prevent the problem or at least decrease the impact on you. It may be worth obtaining employment law advice from a specialist solicitor on this point.

Template available: Example grievance template

The disadvantages of submitting a grievance

The main perceived potential disadvantage of submitting a grievance is the problem of “sticking your neck out” in the workplace – many employees perceive that complaining to their employer will paint them in a bad light and that this may disadvantage their future career prospects. This may – in certain circumstances – be correct but most employers are reasonable and if your grievance is sufficiently serious it should be dealt with properly and without repercussions to you. Other potential disadvantages could include the fact that the persons (if applicable) you’re complaining about could treat you in a worse fashion than before. However, if you fail to do anything about their conduct then it’s unlikely that it will get better on its own.

The advantages of submitting a grievance

The main advantages of submitting a grievance are that you’re registering your complaint with a suitably responsible person at your employer and that (normally) your employer should deal reasonably with the situation, resolving the matter satisfactorily. If the matter is serious (for example if a breach of contract has occurred or some form of unlawful harassment – such as sexual harassment – in the workplace) then your employer may choose to conduct an investigation and there may be further action off the back of this (such as a disciplinary for appropriate persons, suspensions etc.).

Read more: How to write a grievance letter

Conclusion

Employees shouldn’t be prevented from submitting a formal or informal grievance at work because they think that they’re going to be disadvantaged by doing so – if you’re being disadvantaged in some way by the actions of your colleagues then you should be able to receive some form of redress through the internal grievance process.

Direct 2 Lawyers offer employment law advice for employees and specialist advice from a compromise agreement solicitor

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