As an employee, employment legislation protects your rights.
It is important that you are aware of your rights and understand when you can rely on the law.
Before submitting a claim at the Employment Tribunal, it is vital to ensure that you follow your company’s grievance procedure.
Each employer should have its own grievance procedure; this is set out in writing, often contained in your employment contract. If the grievance procedure is not in your contract, speak to your human resources department to obtain a copy.
Although there are some variations in procedure for different employers, you should note the following points if you are having a problem at work:
- If you have a complaint or an issue, ensure your employer is informed promptly.
- Whilst it is important to make your voice heard, not all issues are serious enough to warrant a formal grievance and so you are encouraged to speak to your employer on an informal basis and attempt to resolve it. Some issues can arise out of a misunderstanding or failure in communication, therefore a resolution can often be reached informally.
- If you consider the issue to relate to a serious problem or it cannot be resolved informally, ensure you inform your employer in writing and keep all records. You should raise a formal grievance.
- Your employer is obliged to arrange a meeting with you – you are allowed to be accompanied to this meeting and you should have a right to appeal.
If you have completed the grievance procedure and an appeal and the issue has not been resolved, you may consider bringing a claim at the tribunal. However, all employees must remember that non-litigation solutions are available, such as trade union assistance or ACAS (www.acas.org.uk). If these solutions still do not resolve your issue, or you have been dismissed and feel that your dismissal was unfair, please refer to our guidance on the left on various areas of employment legislation.