We all have problems at work sometimes, which can seriously affect our lives if they’re not resolved. One way to address an issue at work is through your employer’s formal grievance procedure.

Very often, the first step is to have an informal discussion with your manager or supervisor. This is almost always the best way of resolving differences in a way that both sides are happy with.

But if that doesn’t work, or if your complaint is very serious, you might choose to use your employer’s formal grievance procedure. If your employer doesn’t have a policy of their own, there’s a minimum statutory procedure that should be followed.

Many good employers will have their own policy that goes further than the minimum.

The grievance process will involve a formal meeting with your employer, called a grievance hearing. You don’t have to attend this meeting alone. You have a right to be accompanied, either by a colleague or by a union rep.

After the hearing, and any necessary investigation, your employer should let you know their decision without unreasonable delay. If you’re still not happy, you can appeal the decision.

Grievance procedures can be stressful and complicated. The best way to ensure you’re supported is to be a member of a union. If you're not already a member, you can use our Union Finder tool to work out which union is the best fit for you.

Common
questions
I've already raised a grievance with my employer. Who can accompany me to the meeting?
You have a legal right to be accompanied by a co-worker or a trade union rep...
I have a complaint about my rate of pay. How can I pursue it?
Collective bargaining by a recognised union is the best way of improving pay and conditions...
I think I'm suffering sex discrimination at work. What can I do?
Find out what policies your employer has in place to protect you and how you might go about raising these issues with management. Make sure you keep records of the behaviour you're having a problem with.