The Statutory Dispute Resolution Regulations and statutory minimum grievance procedures have been consigned to the bin. Many would say this is where they belong – because although the basic premise of a universal procedure was sound, the Regulations were written so as to give rise to uncertainty and litigation on a grand scale.
Now the minimum requirement is for employers and employees to follow the ACAS Code of Practice. This has similar features to the previous statutory procedures.
So where an employee wishes to raise a grievance the key elements are :
• The employee should let the employer know the nature of the grievance in writing.
• The employer should hold a meeting with the employee to discuss the grievance.
• The employer must allow the employee to be accompanied.
• The employer must decide on appropriate action.
• The employee has a right of appeal.
Faced with this situation an employer would be well advised to read the Code of Practice and take advice before proceeding further.
A failure to follow the Code, by either the employer or the employee, is likely to influence a Tribunal in deciding upon a claim for unfair dismissal and can result in an uplift of compensation awarded by the Tribunal of up to 25% if the employer is at fault, and a reduction of compensation by up to 25% if the employee is at fault.
It should also be borne in mind that employers should have a written rules and procedures for handling grievance situations. Many will not have reviewed these previously put in place during the days of the Statutory Dispute Resolution Regulations. When conducting the process an employer must not only follow the Code, but also its own written rules and procedures.
Memo to employers: Ask Hand Morgan & Owen to review your written grievance rules and procedures.
For more information please contact Nigel Pepper or Patrick Nelson on 01785 211411
18 March 2010
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances. (50587)