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Raising a grievance in work!

(23 Posts)
NonnatusHouseMidwifeSpeaking Sun 12-Apr-15 17:08:34

Hi, posting here for quick responses.

Yesterday I walked out of my job after completing my tasks for the day because the shift manager and general manager have made my working environment toxic. They have been victimizing me, harrassing other members of staff, and I have had enough.

I have a meeting tomorrow with them both, and I want to officially raise a grievance and have told them so. I have all of the points I wish to discuss, and I will be ringing HR tomorrow morning before the meeting, but does anyone have any advice on how to go about this? Does anyone know employment law well enough to give me some advice? Thank you...

straighttothepoint Sun 12-Apr-15 17:12:27

Surely if your are raising a grievance you meet with HR first not the accused? Please check this out. Look at acas website. Take notes.

straighttothepoint Sun 12-Apr-15 17:13:11

And have you looked at the grievances policy also? You must make sure you follow the process.

reallywittyname Sun 12-Apr-15 17:13:12

Not really as I am not an expert but make sure you take someone with you who is impartial, as a witness. If they are as bad as you say you need to make sure they can't twist your words.

Other than that, best of luck.

FarFromAnyRoad Sun 12-Apr-15 17:15:31

Take a witness. Keep notes. Make sure you know what you want to say. But most importantly of all - and as straight has already said - follow the process to the letter. Make sure you know what that is - and be sure to know what they should be doing as well. Did you keep a diary of events leading up to you walking out?

theconstantvacuumer Sun 12-Apr-15 17:16:57

Are you a member of a union? If so, contact them for advice and assistance.

Silvercatowner Sun 12-Apr-15 17:17:50

I would talk to HR before you speak to your colleagues. And I echo the 'don't attend a meeting alone' advice. Don't assume anyone will give you 'friendly informal' advice - make sure everything is formal and documented.

NonnatusHouseMidwifeSpeaking Sun 12-Apr-15 17:20:34

Theyve told me that at this point, I won't need a witness. I think this is rubbish and they're breaking the law.

Also, I would have spoken to HR but this happened last night at seven, and they were closed today. They open 8am tomorrow so Im ringing them first thing. If they tell me to cancel the meeting then I will.

RedButtonhole Sun 12-Apr-15 17:23:12

Don't attend the meeting alone and write everything down clearly and methodically so that you have everything that you want to say to hand.

I raised my grievance in writing and went above the manager's head as my grievance was directly against her. I made a copy of my letter and took it into the meeting so that I didn't get flustered and miss anything or get mixed up.

Take someone impartial in whom you trust, your union rep can help you with this if there is nobody in your workplace you would want there.

Sorry this is happening to you, its horrible having to work in a nasty environment, hope you get it sorted flowers

NonnatusHouseMidwifeSpeaking Sun 12-Apr-15 17:32:06

I don't have a union (I don't think) and I'll be finding out the process tomorrow when I talk to HR.

I've got three main points, one of which is victimizaion and harrassment of staff. I then have a full A4 list of things that come under that category. We will address the points one by one.

Just sick of being called a fucking retard and being told that if I don't like it, I can queue up at the job centre...

RatherBeRiding Sun 12-Apr-15 17:45:39

Before you do anything get a copy of your employer's Grievance policy and stick rigidly to it. Also do not meet your managers without first talking to HR and be specific with HR that you are raising a formal grievance - otherwise there is a chance you will be persuaded to try to resolve things informally and if this isn't what you want, then stick to your guns.

Also be prepared for your managers to lie through their teeth to HR and make out that you are a bad employee and your work is not satisfactory etc etc - I have been there many times with my former manager who was a poisonous bullying bitch, and told HR whatever they wanted to hear.

Never meet your managers without a witness. Put everything in writing - letter or email. You will need detailed written accounts of what has been said/done by your managers - including dates if you can remember and witnesses if possible.

Good luck!

NotGoingOut17 Sun 12-Apr-15 17:48:02

I work in HR - they are not breaking any laws by saying you don't need a witness (if my assumption is correct) because it sounds like it is an informal meeting. A formal meeting does mean you have the right to be accompanied however if this was a formal meeting you would have had a formal invite which doesn't sound like the case here?

Ordinarily employers in my experience would like to try and resolve things informally (mediation for example) but this is when there has been a misunderstaning, so for example a grievance against annual leave being refused, it might be helpful for the manager to explain to the employee why it was not able to be accommodated etc. But this isn't going to be suitable when you are claiming they are bullying/victimising you.

In this case as has been said you need to make a complaint about them. A formal complaint (speak to HR about the process). An investigation will then be conducted - a meeting with you (unless they have sufficient information from your written complaint) and meetings with the subjects of the complaint. The important thing here is to make sure you detail any witnesses as that is what these things come down to a lot of the time (unless the subject of the complaint admits the allegation).

Of course if you want to meet with them tomorrow then you can insist on taking a witness (I would not advise meeting them without one) - all they can say is no. But, I am not sure what you want out of tomorrow's meeting, it would be much better going above their heads so that appropriate disciplinary action can be taken, this won't happen if you speak to them - they are unlikely to report their behaviour to their management themselves.

NotGoingOut17 Sun 12-Apr-15 17:49:20

To be clear the investigation would be done by an entirely separate manager, sometimes a manager higher up the management chain

Champagnecharleyismyname Sun 12-Apr-15 18:05:14

I also work in HR and agree with all notgoingout said. Check your grievance policy, you may find this in your contract or handbook. Put your grievance in writing including dates and times of incidents.

Most employers like to try and resolve grievances informally but with something as serious as bullying I would suggest you put everything in writing.

Speak to HR before meeting the people involved.

NonnatusHouseMidwifeSpeaking Sun 12-Apr-15 20:24:39

Is there a specific legal right to work in a harrassment/bullying free working environment, when the bullying is not due to a protected characteristic?

If there is: what is the official title of that right?

PHANTOMnamechanger Sun 12-Apr-15 20:34:25

midwifespeaking everyone has the right not to be harrassed at work, and harrassment is not just about being a protected characteristic eg gay/black/female etc. ACAS website is very clear that harrassment is dependant on how it makes the victim feel, and not whether it was done intentionally or with any malice by the doer. It includes stuff like over zealous monitoring of competent workers, undermining them in front of others etc etc.

OP, you have had some good advice here. I would also advise ensuring you have a companion in any interviews/discussions, so that they can take some notes. You should also be offered the chance to put your grievance in writing asap, listing specifics, any evidence (eg comments in emails if relevant) and any witnesses to these or similar incidents.

Good luck

PHANTOMnamechanger Sun 12-Apr-15 20:35:59

ACAS stuff here

NonnatusHouseMidwifeSpeaking Sun 12-Apr-15 20:53:56

Right okay.

I've got two seperate letters here with me. One is to be sent either as an email or through the post to the HR department, and the other is to my manager.

The letter to HR details in very specific legal terms exactly which of my employment rights were violated (the right not to suffer detriment in regards to health and safety, the right not to be discriminated against for a protected characteristic, the right to not be subjected to bullying or harrassment). underneath each right there is a paragraph detailing precisely how it was violated and in what manners.

The letter to my manager basically says that I am taking it further and raising a formal grievance, that I wont be speaking about the grievance or the actions that led me to file a grievance with anyone from this moment onwards unless in an official capacity and with a witness, and that any and all correspondence is to come to me in writing and not via phone calls or informal chats.

NonnatusHouseMidwifeSpeaking Wed 06-May-15 20:08:47


Update on this thread!

I raised a grievance and was assigned a specific manager of another location to work through it. I told him about how I'm not getting my contracted hours and how they're trying to wiggle out of it, how they aren't giving us breaks or 11 hours between shifts, how they're bending company policy, how they're breaking the law in several places and putting customers at risk, how the atmosphere is abusive and discriminatory...

He was shocked, and went to his boss who gave the go-ahead for my holding manager to be replaced with someone else, and he'll be reassigned. Five days before this new manager was scheduled to take place, I ended up suspended for a week with full pay for utterly bogus reasons.

I sorted out a meeting with this woman, and shes just as shocked about the issues as the previous gentleman. She told me I would be back to work the following week.

I started back in work to a proper welcoming committee - I was apparently deeply missed, even though I'd only been gone for over a week! Still got issues with my kitchen manager, which I was a bit confused about, until that evening when we had a team meeting.

Team meeting was short and sweet, but after that team meeting the new manager said she'd be happy to see people in the office with any concerns about the team. I went in, and there were eight people raising issues and wanting to submit grievances of their own because of the same people.

Afterwards, I was told by another staff member in private that the kitchen manager despises me on a personal level. She tried to get me sacked, fucked it up royally by going about it the wrong way, and is now stuck with me for good. So she's been gleeful in mentioning to some people that she trusts that she will be making my life hell in work until such time as I leave.

I've absorbed this information and told the new manager, and shes absolutely furious (and understandably so), so I've decided to keep a journal of my interactions with my kitchen manager so if anything does happen, I'll have my arse covered.

Anybody got any suggestions other than keeping a log of everything that happens? I refuse to quit, and I am not going to back down simply because someone doesn't like me as a person therefore doesn't respect my work or the effort that I put in.

Anyone got any advice or something? :/ This is not a situation that I'm comfortable being in, so any support would be great...!

Altinkum Wed 06-May-15 20:16:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

00100001 Wed 06-May-15 20:17:58

No, just keep a log and keep reporting it - sorry it's so shit for you sad

ilovesooty Wed 06-May-15 20:17:58

If you receive any relevant emails make sure you copy them or save them in a separate file
If you respond to anything quote their original correspondence for clarification.
You're quite right in not ever being alone with this manager without a witness.
You might want to check whether you have legal protection included under your home insurance.
And - well done so far!

NonnatusHouseMidwifeSpeaking Wed 06-May-15 20:24:09

Altinkum - I work in a brand, yes. It's high-street and very well known, but not going to give any more information other than that.

And this is deeply upsetting me. Aside from the fact that I've never had anyone actually hate me for no good reason before (I genuinely mean it - I've not had someone be a jerk to me without a valid reason), I'm not there to make friends, I'm there to do my job. Every member of the team has told me I'm the most hardworking person there.

I put the team first, I do my job well, I never leave anyone to fend for themselves, I always go above and beyond... So having all of that invalidated just because of someones petty and childish vendetta... that's a horrible feeling!

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