A 10-step guide to preparing for and conducting grievance hearings

grievance procedure

Having a good grievance procedure is important as it allows employers the opportunity to resolve workplace issues early, saving them from the breakdown of employment relationships and, ultimately, tribunal claims.

We look at the key steps to carrying out a fair grievance hearing:

1. Decide whether or not the grievance can be resolved informally or if the formal grievance procedure should be used.

Deal informally with an employee’s grievance

2. Make sure you comply with both the terms of your organisation’s grievance procedure and the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures.

Employment law manual > Grievance procedures > Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures

3. Appoint an appropriate manager to deal with the employee’s grievance.

Who should deal with an employee’s grievance?

4. Carry out a full investigation into the grievance and obtain all relevant evidence. Send the evidence to the employee in advance of the grievance meeting.

Good practice manual > Carrying out an investigation

5. Invite the employee to the grievance meeting and remind them of their statutory right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative.

Model letter inviting an employee to attend a grievance meeting

How to deal with workers’ statutory right to be accompanied at disciplinary and grievance hearings

6. Ensure that someone who is not involved in the case is appointed to take notes on the proceedings.

How to prepare for and conduct a grievance hearing

7. Allow the employee to explain the details of their grievance and how they would like it to be resolved.

Good practice manual > Conducting a grievance hearing

8. Adjourn the grievance meeting to give proper consideration to all the evidence before making a decision.

What are the possible outcomes of a grievance?

9. Once the decision whether or not to uphold the grievance is made, inform the employee in writing with details of why that decision was reached.

Model letter informing an employee of the employer’s decision and right of appeal following a grievance meeting

10. Notify the employee of their right to appeal against the outcome of the grievance procedure.

How to handle appeals against grievance decisions

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