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Grievance Meeting Guidance

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Any hearing should be broken down into the following:-

inform employee that a meeting has been arranged and give at least 48 hours notice.
Conduct hearing
Investigation
Decision
Documentation

In attendance there should be the employer and a minute taker, the employee and their companion. If the grievance is against you, then someone else must be engaged to chair the hearing.

The employee must be reminded of their rights, namely that they can have a working colleague or any other person as certified under the Employment Rights Act 1999.

Arrange the hearing in writing giving reasonable prior notice. The letter should confirm a grievance hearing has been arranged; the date, time and location of the hearing. It should also state who the chairperson will be and the fact that a minute taker will be in attendance. The letter also needs to remind the employee of their right to have a companion with them during the hearing, as outlined above.

Guidance on conducting the grievance hearing

A successful hearing is one that reaches the correct conclusion. The biggest reason for this not happening is that the employer is led by the employee away from the real analysis of the problem.

We strongly advise excellent preparation for the meeting by preparing numerous questions to ask the employee including supplementary questions ie ask one question and be prepared with the second question depending on whether the answer is yes or no.

Please remember the following very old saying -

You have 5 friends
You know them well
They taught you all you know
There names are How? When? Why? Where? Who?

In our experience "20 questions" is about the minimum.
Finally the other obstacle to a just outcome is a preconceived idea; you must go in open minded otherwise you may well fail to ask enough questions and consequently not have enough on paper to prove your decision is fair.


The grievance proceedings should follow the format below.

You should ask the employee to outline the basis for their grievance.

If a report/view was sought from Staff Dispute Resolution UK (available to HR4UK.com clients only) it should be discussed, considered and their recommendations satisfied before the hearing is concluded.

You should ask as many questions as possible to extract as much information as you can. You should take note of any particular requirements under the grievance procedure of any terms and conditions of employment.

You should ask the employee a final question: "Is there anything else you wish me to consider?" as well as directing to the employee's companion the question "Is there anything relevant to this grievance you wish me to consider?"

After extracting the maximum amount of information, the employee should be asked to leave the room whilst consideration of the facts takes place. You may ring the help line for any second opinion and if appropriate you may send the employee home and say they will be informed of the outcome. Preference is given to providing an answer on the day wherever possible.

Confirmation in writing should be provided to the employee of the outcome and their right of appeal. It is suggested that you seek a second opinion of the wording to be used.

This information is of a generic nature and is for guidance purposes only. Particular situations may require modification.
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