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Raising a grievance at work

Grievances are concerns, problems or complaints raised by a staff member with management. Anybody may at some time have problems or concerns with their working conditions or relationships with colleagues that they wish to raise.

Key points

  • Employees should let the employer know the nature of the grievance and issues promptly.
  • The employer and line manager should try to resolve any grievance informally in the first instance.
  • Where this is not possible, employers should arrange a formal meeting as quickly as possible, and should carry out any necessary investigations to establish the facts of the case. You can get advice on conducting investigations from Acas.
  • Employees can be accompanied at any formal meeting and have the right to appeal against any formal decision made.
  • Employers should have their grievance procedure in writing and make sure all staff are aware of any policy or procedure. See Acas Useful templates for letters, forms and checklists guidance and template policy.

Issues that may cause grievances include:

  • terms and conditions of employment
  • health and safety
  • work relations
  • bullying and harassment
  • new working practices/organisational changes
  • discrimination.

Raising an issue at work

When there's a problem at work, it should be tackled quickly. But which is best - the informal approach or using a formal channel for grievances? Our advisors explain your options.

How can an employee raise a grievance?

Acas' expert adviser talks about one of our most common questions to our Helpline.

Acas training and support

Acas run practical training courses to equip managers, supervisors and HR professionals with the necessary skills to deal with employment relations issues and to create more productive workplace environments.

Click to view related Acas training and course dates in your area for:

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