I have recently gone on maternity leave but prior to doing so have reported to someone more senior at work that I am not happy with the way a certain colleague has treated me at work and that I feel I have been bullied. It has gone on for months and while I am pregnant. Work have contacted me today to see which route I would like to go down, either an informal investigation or would I like to raise a formal grievance. I would be grateful if anyone could share the details of both and what actually happens when you raise a formal grievance as I am unsure of which is best to do
Best practice is to see whether a grievance can be resolved informally in the first instance (this isn't always an option) and whether mediation would be beneficial in resolving the issue. My company uses it a lot and it can be very helpful.
Raising a formal grievance will mean your company will have to follow their own policy and procedures. There's almost always an investigation and there will be interviews with yourself and whoever the grievance is against plus any witnesses to the alleged bullying will also be called.
From that they will decide on whether there is sufficient grounds to your complaint and then.take it from there.
I personally feel it's best to try things informally if at all possible but it would be entirely your decision. It's worth keeping in mind whether you want to return after maternity leave and whether you'd be happy to, regardless of the outcome of a formal grievance.
Thank you Dragon, it is a difficult decision I agree. I have said at the moment I'd like this to be resolved informally but like you say, I'm not sure if it can as I imagine the person in question will deny the things I've said. I do have evidence though and examples and can back up a lot of what I have said has happened. It does feel like a lot of firms/employers would rather turn a blind eye to this sort of thing and brush it under the carpet. I work for a large corporate firm so you'd sort of expect more.