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Employment issues.

Byline: Joe Michna, Hartlepool Citizens' Advice Bureau manager


Q. Does the Statutory Grievance Procedure apply to dealing with certain workplace disputes?

A. Although the Statutory Grievance procedures are currently being reviewed, they still currently apply.

Q. What is the Statutory Grievance Procedure for?

A. These procedures were introduced in October 2004 and had the aim of seeking to reduce the number of Employment Tribunal claims that were being made by employees.

Q. How does the grievance procedure work?

A. The idea behind the grievance procedures is to give the employer and the employee the opportunity to try and resolve workplace disputes and problems by entering into a relatively straightforward process prior to any legal action being taken. While it is always advisable to resolve workplace problems informally, if this is not possible, then the next step will generally be the use of the grievance procedure.

Q. What is this process?

A. The statutory grievance procedure is essentially a three-step process as follows:

the employee puts his/her grievance complaint in writing.

the employer then arranges a meeting to discuss and consider the grievance.

if the employee is not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, the employer should allow him/her an appeal against he decision.

Q. What if an employee is no longer employed by the employer?

A. Prior to making certain types of claims to an Employment Tribunal, for example, a wages claim or a holiday pay claim, the employee should still use the grievance procedure. In these circumstances the employee can request that a modified two-step procedure is used.

Q. What is the modified two-step procedure?

A. The two-step procedure is as follows:

the employee puts his/her grievance in writing

the employer responds to the grievance, also by letter

Under the modified two-step procedure there is no need for a meeting to take place between the employer and the employee.

Q. Does an employee have to word the grievance letter, does it have to quote the law for example?

A. A grievance letter should be written in plain English and does not have to be legalistic or quote any particular law. The key to an effective grievance letter is to make it clear to the employer what the grievance/complaint is about so that the employer can clearly understand this. If for example an employee feels they have been discriminated against, then he/she needs to say so and explain why. Equally, if the grievance is about wages owed, say how much is owed and why.

For further advice and information on all Employment Law matters, contact your local CAB. There are CABs located in Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 23, 2008
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