Zeba Sayed

Editor's message: From time to time employees may have concerns about their work, working environment or working relationships. In many cases it will be possible for these concerns to be resolved informally. Where an informal resolution is not possible or appropriate, an employee should be able to raise their concerns in a formal way under a grievance procedure. Having a clear and effective grievance procedure in place will help employers respond to such concerns fairly and consistently.

The written statement of terms and conditions of employment issued to every new employee must include specified information relating to the redress of grievances. Beyond that, there is no minimum statutory procedure to follow in relation to grievances. However, you must ensure that your grievance procedure complies with the basic principles of fairness set out in the "Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures". A failure to follow the code does not, in itself, make an employer liable to proceedings. However, where the code is relevant, a tribunal may increase or decrease an employee’s compensation by up to 25% if either side has unreasonably failed to comply with one or more of its requirements.

Zeba Sayed, employment law editor

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