Raising an issue at work

If you have an issue or concern at work it’s almost always better to raise it informally by having a quiet word first. Problems can often be resolved this way before they get any worse.

You may feel nervous about raising an issue, but many employers would rather resolve problems quickly without having to go through a formal grievance process.

Choose someone who you feel comfortable talking to. If this isn’t your line manager ask to talk to another manager or someone from HR.

When you tell them about the problem they should arrange a meeting to discuss it as soon as possible.

Before meeting your manager

To prepare for the meeting:

  • make sure you have all the facts – read the relevant information on the Acas website and print it out to show your manager if needed
  • prepare what you want to say, for example write down what you’re unhappy about
  • think about what you’d like your employer to do about it

You can ask a colleague to come with you to the meeting if you feel you can’t go alone (though your employer doesn’t have to agree to this).

During the meeting

In the meeting you can:

  • explain what the problem is and what you think should happen
  • show your manager evidence if necessary, for example your payslips and contract if you think you didn’t get the holiday pay you’re entitled to
  • take notes if you want to remember what was said

Resolving the issue should be a two-way process – your manager should allow you to explain the problem and you also need to listen to what they have to say.

It may not always be possible to solve the problem in the way you’d like, but hopefully you can find a solution that works for both of you.

If you're still not satisfied

If you’re not satisfied with your employer’s response and feel you need to take things further you can speak to Acas.

An adviser will explain possible next steps and the risks and benefits of each.

Sometimes an issue can’t be resolved informally and you may need to raise a formal grievance.

An example of this might be because the person you’d normally have the informal meeting with is bullying you and there’s no one else at work you can speak with.