Step 2: Raising a formal grievance
The employee should check their workplace grievance policy to find out:
how to raise a formal grievance
who they should send it to
what the full grievance procedure is
If there is no workplace grievance procedure, the employee should approach their line manager first. If they do not feel comfortable doing that, they should approach someone else they feel comfortable talking to (such as another manager or someone in HR).
Employees can also talk to their trade union, if they have one, for advice and support.
How an employee can raise a grievance
The employee with the grievance should put it in writing to whoever is most appropriate – this could be their line manager, HR manager or employer.
The letter or email should say:
what the grievance is about
any evidence, for example their payslip or employment contract
what they want their employer to do about it
It’s a good idea for the employee to be specific where they can be, for example ‘I would like to be paid on time in future’.
It’s also helpful to be realistic.
An employee believes they have not been paid their correct wages because someone in payroll made a one-off mistake. In this situation it’s usually realistic to expect the employer to investigate and amend the payment if necessary. It’s not usually realistic to expect payroll staff to be dismissed.
You can also get help from Citizens Advice on:
If employers or employees do not follow a formal procedure
Not following a formal grievance procedure can affect:
people’s morale and confidence at work
the outcome, if the employee later makes a claim to an employment tribunal
A tribunal will take into account whether an employee has a genuine reason for not following a formal procedure. For example, the employee might find it difficult to attend a grievance meeting with someone accused of sexually harassing them.