A Guide
for Employers

Navigating the grievance process

For Employers, Human Resources

Inevitably, issues arise in the workplace. You must have a grievance policy in place, so employees know how they are expected to raise any issues as and when they come up.

We know it can be a daunting process, so we want to share this guide to the basics to help you get it right.

Firstly, you should encourage staff to deal with issues informally first (if they can); usually by speaking to their line manager. Where issues cannot be resolved informally, employees are entitled to raise a formal grievance.

Put it in writing

A formal grievance should be set out in writing, outlining the issues of concern and how the individual would like them to be resolved. On receipt of a formal grievance, you should acknowledge receipt swiftly to show you’re taking it seriously.


Appoint someone appropriate to investigate the grievance; this person needs to set up a formal hearing as soon as possible to run through the employee’s grievance. The purpose of this is to ensure the investigator fully understands the situation as can go away and fully investigate.


Following the hearing, the investigator needs to gather all relevant evidence, information, and documentation; this may include conducting interviews with any witnesses. In some cases, it is appropriate, once the investigation has started, to meet again with the aggrieved to feedback information or seek any clarification that might be required.

Conclusion of the process

Once the investigation is concluded, the person appointed to deal with the grievance must make a decision on the outcome. This requires a decision as to whether each concern is upheld or not upheld. The decision can be delivered in person but should always be followed up in writing, including the reasons for the decision and the employee’s right to appeal if they do not feel the decision is correct or fair.

Should you be unsure about the process or how to deal with a grievance, we would urge to you seek legal advice as early as possible. We often see cases in the Tribunal that could have been dealt with properly at the grievance stage, but instead end up in a time consuming and extremely costly legal battle in the Tribunal.

Here is your reminder to triple check and update your current grievance policy and procedure to ensure that you are fully equipped to deal with any formal grievances promptly and successfully.

Please reach out to the Outsourced HR and Employment Law Support team here at Thrive via enquiries@thrivelaw.co.uk for more advice on and support with the grievance process.

Sign up to our monthly newsletter if you would like to have guides like this sent straight to your inbox.


Please note this blog is for reference purposes only and is only accurate at which the date it was published. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any actions. Please contact us if you have any questions on enquiries@thrivelaw.co.uk.

Contact Us

Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
Fill out this field

Book a Free Consultation

Our Awards and Recognition

Verified by MonsterInsights