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Topic: Grievances

Grievance drafting guidance
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Grievance drafting guidance

Grievance drafting guidance

Employees can sometimes be unclear about whether they’re raising a written grievance or what exactly it’s about. Our grievance drafting guidance is intended to steer them in the right direction.

Clear grievance formulation

You’d thinking raising a formal written grievance should be easy, but you’d be surprised how many grievances are unclear. There can be a tendency for some grievance letters to be long, rambling and full of opinions, with no real focus on the facts and what the employee’s complaint actually is. That’s why we’ve produced our Grievance Drafting Guidance. Its purpose is to assist the employee in setting out their grievance in a clear, logical and concise way. You can’t draft the employee’s grievance for them, but you can give them guidance. You could include our drafting guidance as an appendix to your grievance procedure - that way, employees have easy access to it.

Addressee and subject heading

Our guidance follows the terms of our Grievance Procedure by stating that the grievance should be in writing and raised with the employee’s line manager, unless their line manager is the person who is the subject of their complaint. It also provides that the heading of the grievance letter or e-mail should make it clear that the employee is raising a formal grievance under your grievance procedure, and we’ve even included suggested wording they can use for their heading.

Facts, complaint and remedy

The next stage is for the employee to set out a description of the facts in chronological order, including the provision of any documentary evidence on which they intend to rely, followed by the grounds of their grievance, i.e. what the nature of their complaint is and why they’re unhappy. This might, for example, be because there’s been a breach of their employment contract or because they’ve been poorly treated by someone at work. Finally, we’ve asked them to specify how they think the matter should be resolved. You don’t have to comply with this, even if their grievance is upheld, but it gives you an indication at the outset of what they’re looking for by way of redress. We’ve also asked them to sign and date their grievance where it’s contained in a letter; this won’t be necessary though where it’s submitted by e-mail as the e-mail will record the date and the e-mail address will show who it came from.

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