Informal meetings - Talking to your employer about a problem

Informal meetings

Once you've raised an issue with your employer, they might arrange an informal meeting to:

  • find out more about the problem
  • discuss the best way to resolve it

A meeting might seem quite formal. However this is still an informal step, if it's not part of a formal procedure like a grievance.

Preparing for an informal meeting

To help you prepare for an informal meeting, you can:

  • check the Acas website for information about the type of problem you have
  • prepare what you want to say, for example how to explain what you're unhappy about
  • gather any evidence you might need, for example payslips if your problem is about pay
  • think about what your employer could do to fix the problem

Taking someone with you

You can ask someone to go with you to an informal meeting. For example:

  • someone you work with
  • a trade union representative, if you're a member
  • an official employed by a trade union

You can ask to bring someone else for extra assistance or support, for example an interpreter or care worker.

It's usually up to your employer to agree if you can bring someone else to the meeting.

If you're disabled, your employer must make reasonable adjustments if you need them. This might include allowing someone to come with you to an informal meeting.

For example, your employer might allow a support or care worker to attend to provide support. This could be considered a reasonable adjustment if it would reduce any disadvantage you might have in raising your problem.

At the meeting

At the meeting you can:

  • explain what the problem is and what you think should happen
  • show evidence if necessary, for example your payslips and contract if you think your holiday pay was wrong
  • take notes

Resolving the problem should be a two-way process. Your manager should allow you to explain the problem. You should also listen to what they have to say.

You and your manager might have different ideas about how to solve the problem. You should be open to ideas and try to find an outcome that works for everyone.

Putting things in writing

Even though the meeting is informal, it's still good practice for your employer to record in writing what you agree. They could give this to you in a letter or an email so you have a record.

This is so:

  • everyone is clear about what the next steps are
  • you can refer back to it if the problem is not resolved or happens again

If the problem is not resolved

If your problem is not resolved by trying informal steps, you can make a formal complaint to your employer. This is known as raising a grievance.

If raising a formal grievance does not resolve the problem, you might be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal.

Contact the Acas helpline

If you have any questions about informal meetings, you can contact the Acas helpline.

Last reviewed