Disciplinaries & Grievances

Wiltshire employment law solicitors guiding you through disciplinaries and grievances 

Wiltshire employment law solicitors guiding you through disciplinaries and grievances 

Wiltshire’s leading employment lawyers - Grievances & disciplinaries in the workplace

Dealing with a grievance effectively can avert tribunal claims by enabling the issue to be resolved internally.  A grievance can be any concern, problem or complaint that an employee raises with the employer.

The ACAS code sets out in detail the process and recommended procedure, but the code is detailed and requires  some reading, but of course we have done that for you and can provide detailed advice to you.

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How should an employer handle a grievance?

Well in a nutshell:

Firstly, the employee should raise the grievance in writing.

The employer should hold a meeting and investigate the complaint. At the meeting the employee is legally entitled to be accompanied by a fellow work colleague or a trade union representative if they are a member of a union.

The employee should be given sufficient time to discuss the nature of their grievance, and if appropriate the meeting should be adjourned for further investigations to take place.

After the grievance has been fully investigated a further meeting should be held to enable the employee to make any further representations and the employer to communicate its decision; this should also be followed up in writing. If the employee remains unhappy, they have a right of appeal.

Your employment law questions answered

Yes, it is a statutory requirement and we encourage all employers to have a written grievance policy, albeit we would advise that this should not be contractual. This will ensure that all parties are aware of the procedure and will protect you from a further complaint should the procedure fail to adhere to the letter of the law.

Disciplinary action may be required for a variety of reasons. It could be as a result of poor performance or unsatisfactory attendance. Alternatively the employee may be suspected of committing an act of misconduct, which if sufficiently gross, could result in dismissal.

In each instance, the employer must be able to demonstrate that they followed a fair procedure, and the decision to invoke a disciplinary sanction was reasonable in all the circumstances.

Many factors can be considered when assessing the reasonableness of a decision to discipline.

For example, the seriousness of the matter, whether the employee has been subject to a previous disciplinary process or has an active disciplinary warning in place and breach of rules or protocols are but a few.

At Goughs, our employment specialists can draft and tailor contracts and policies to fit your business needs, whilst ensuring they are reasonable and enforceable. We can help with both writing and reviewing existing contracts and advising on breach of employment contract issues. 

We have built up many years of experience and our team not only offer advice to businesses but also advise on broader business planning issues and sit on various advisory boards, ensuring that our advice and expertise looks beyond the contract itself and ensures all advice really is in the best interest of the future of the business.

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Your employment law team

Rebecca Dennis

Senior Associate, Head of Employment

Rebecca's professional background is unique in that she worked for more than 20 years as a barrister providing legal advice, drafting and advocacy for her clients and more recently provided specialist trouble-shooting services on employment law and employee relations at a leading international HR outsourcing company. She is now proud to lead the Employment Department at Goughs.

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Goughs have been providing legal services to businesses across the south west since 1882.

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