Grievance procedure & hearings solicitors

If you're having a problem at work, such as a dispute with your employer, talk to Tees. We'll explain your legal rights and options for getting it resolved.

Ellieshia Hyam, Cambridge
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Grievance meetings at work: Advice for employees

If you have concerns or complaints about something that’s happened at work, it’s usually best to try to sort problems out informally. Talk to your employer, starting with your manager – or if they’re the cause of the problem, HR or another manager that you trust. If not suitable for dealing with informally, or matters are not resolved, you may need to raise a formal grievance. 

What is a grievance hearing?

A grievance meeting or hearing will be the meeting that takes place to consider your formal grievance. This is usually after prior informal attempts to resolve the problem have been unsuccessful. 

At the meeting you can communicate your complaint in more detail, share written evidence and ask questions; your employer will also likely ask questions. You will be able to say what it is you want done about the problem; your employer may, reasonably, have already invited to you provide details of your desired outcome. It’s not meant to be an adversarial meeting with two opposing ‘sides’ and both parties should seek to understand and discuss the issues and see how they might be resolved. 

After the meeting your employer should respond in writing and if your grievance isn’t upheld, they should tell you that you can appeal.

You can find out more about raising a grievance on the ACAS website.

Our grievance hearing services

Our specialist employment solicitors can help you by:

  • drafting your grievance
  • briefing you on the process of the grievance meeting
  • advising on strategy and planning the key points you need to get across
  • helping you identify a companion for the meeting – who could be a union representative, or a friend or colleague
  • advising on an appeal against the decision, if your employer does not uphold your grievance and rectify the situation 
  • advising you on how you might pursue a settlement agreement strategy for exit and enter into a “protected conversation” with your employer, if that’s what you ultimately want
  • taking your employer to an employment tribunal and other considerations; this is only if it cannot be resolved and you choose to do this; we will advise you on all the options.

Call our specialist solicitors on 0808 231 1320

We're here to help

Our specialist lawyers are based in:

  • Cambridgeshire: Cambridge
  • Essex: Brentwood, Chelmsford, and Saffron Walden
  • Hertfordshire: Bishop's Stortford and Royston 

But we can help you wherever you are in England and Wales.

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Grievance hearings FAQs

What is an employment tribunal?

An employment tribunal is like a court, specifically for handling employment disputes where an employee is bringing a claim against his or her employer. It’s made up of a judge sitting alone or a panel of three people, one of whom will be a judge, who will be legally qualified in employment law; the other two are lay members – that is, not judges or lawyers by profession, although they will have experience in employment issues.  One will be an employee representative, and the other an employer representative. Some cases can be heard just by the judge.  Cases of discrimination must be heard by three judges. Although it’s not a requirement to have a lawyer represent you, most people choose to have legal representation.

Learn more
What is unfair dismissal?

For a dismissal from a job to be considered potentially fair it must be on a ground set out under section 98 of the Employment Rights Act:

  • redundancy
  • performance 
  • conduct
  • illegality
  • “some other substantial reason”.

For the dismissal to be fair it will often need to pass the test of being within the range of reasonable responses of an employer. The employer will need to follow an appropriate fair process to minimise the risks of a claim finding procedural unfairness. 

Sometimes the situation is such that it’s considered to be an automatic unfair dismissal. This would be when it relates to something where the employee is protected by law such as:

  • maternity/paternity leave
  • parental/adoption leave
  • asking to be paid the minimum wage
  • pregnancy
  • trade union activities
  • making a protected disclosure (i.e. whistleblowing).

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