Q And A
What is the appropriate response to a grievance: ask the expert
I have recently raised a formal grievance in relation to the harrassment I have recieved from my boss since return back to work 18 months ago as a part-time worker. I have now finally received a response which only states that my employer has considered the points raised in the grievance and has set a developmental plan to address the issues with my manager and move me into another role within the company. Is this a usual response or should the letter specifically state if they uphold or dismiss the complaint? should I expect more than a developmental plan for the serious discrimination and victimisation I have received?
Answer by Anna Docherty
If an employee raises a formal grievance with an employer then there is a legal process that the employer must follow which requires a meeting to be set up to discuss the grievance. From what you have said, you have had the meeting with your employer. The response/decision should usually be within 5 days but it sounds like your employer has taken longer than this to respond. The decision of the grievance meeting should be outlined to you in writing, explaining why the decision has been reached and if the employee’s grievance is not upheld the reasons must be carefully explained. From what you have said it does not sound like the letter explaining the decision to you has been clearly articulated.
With regard to whether a developmental plan is an appropriate outcome for alleged harassment and victimisation, it is impossible for me to say without far more details about your situation at work. However, on the surface of it, discrimination and harassment are very serious allegations and should never be taken lightly by any employer.
If you do feel that the outcome of your grievance has not been dealt with appropriately, you do have the right to appeal the decision. You would need to write to your employer with your reasons for appeal and then they will need to set up another meeting to discuss this. You have the right to be accompanied to this meeting by a colleague or trade union rep. If after your appeal you still feel insufficient action has been taken you could talk to ACAS who have a free, confidential helpline to talk to someone there who may be able to advise you whether you need to seek legal advice from a solicitor.
Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this answer, WorkingMums cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice. Anna Docherty has been working in the human resources field since 1993 in both blue chip companies and small companies. Since 2006, she has been an HR Consultant for Docherty HR. To contact her for a private consultation, email her on firstname.lastname@example.org. Her website is www.dochertyhr.co.uk.