We have experienced an increase in the number of calls from client explaining that an employee has raised a grievance when faced with the threat of disciplinary action particularly when they have been suspended on pay pending further investigation.
Whether this is a tactical move on the part of the employee to prolong matters or whether they really feel aggrieved is a matter of debate but our advice in such situations is to first acknowledge the grievance in writing and invite the employee to a grievance meeting to discuss their grievance. The letter should also explain that the matter that was being investigated will be postponed pending the outcome of the grievance.
It is not always possible to resolve a grievance in this first meeting and inevitably further investigation is required. The meeting with therefore be adjourned pending investigation. Once the investigation is complete, a further grievance meeting should be arranged with the employee to discuss the investigation material (copies should be enclosed with the letter inviting them to the meeting) and after getting their feedback, the Company can consider its decision on whether the grievance(s) is/are upheld or not and giving the right to appeal.
If an appeal is raised, this should be dealt with before the investigation into the initial potential disciplinary matter is continued.
For more help with this matter, contact your consultant on 01274 626200.