Worthingtons Solicitors Belfast provide legal advice on addressing problems in the workplace informally and formally through the grievance procedures
Employees should, if and where possible, resolve any potential problems in the workplace in an informal manner. If this cannot be achieved, you can always raise a formal grievance in order to address any concerns.
Your contract or handbook may have a grievance procedure but if not, the Labour Relations Agency Code of Practice sets out a procedure.
Step 1 You should, without unreasonable delay, forward a grievance letter to your employer setting out each and every issue you wish to raise and be addressed. It is recommended that any such statement be entitled “Formal Grievance” in order to ensure that your employer is clear as to the purpose of the letter. You can, if and where possible, confirm how you believe the matter of which you are complaining might be resolved.
Step 2 Your employer should arrange a grievance meeting within a reasonable period and should advise you that you have the right to be accompanied at such a meeting by a work colleague or Trade Union Representative. Following the meeting, the outcome of same should be communicated to you by your employer in writing and you should be offered the right to appeal the decision.
Step 3 If you wish to appeal the decision in respect of your grievance, you should do same without unreasonable delay and in writing. You employer may request that such an appeal be provided within a specified time limit and you should endeavour to adhere to same. If you cannot, you should advise your employer of the reasons why.
Your employer should arrange an appeal meeting within a reasonable period and invite you to attend same in writing.
There is no free standing tribunal claim for unfair treatment in the Tribunal, however depending on the nature of the treatment there may be grounds for constructive dismissal proceedings.
Always seek legal advice before taking any action. Toni Fitzgerald -Gunn is a Solicitor with Worthingtons Employment department and advises both Employees and Employees in pre-proceedings as well as providing representation at Industrial Tribunal and Fair Employment Tribunal proceedings.