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Raising a grievance - experiences please

(21 Posts)
sammie96 Wed 04-Oct-17 20:33:11

I’m seriously considering raising a grievance and I haven’t a clue what it entails or what to expect.

I’ve been struggling along for the past year and a half with a colleague who treats me disrespectfully and unprofessionally. I’ve had informal talks with bosses who have tried to discuss the situation with the colleague but they just can’t get through to her. It’s affected my health and I’ve had enough so I resigned yesterday. Today I feel relieved that my days in that situation are numbered but also anger, I’m angry that I’m being forced out, it’s unfair and I deserve to be treated the same as everyone else.

Is it worth raising a grievance? Have you done it? What are the possible outcomes?

I’m not in anyway hoping for my colleague to be fired, they have a family and I wouldn’t want that on my conscience. I just want her to acknowledge how she’s treated me and a reason for why she treats me so differently. It feels so personal.

Workingonthemoon Wed 04-Oct-17 20:54:44

Tbh if you've already resigned I'm not sure what the benefit of raising a grievance to you would be?
A grievance is a horrible, stressful thing. It sounds like you'te looking at it from a bullying pov? Chances are the org will brush it under the carpet anyway especially with you leaving.
I put in a bullying grievance in a past life. It was absolutely the right thing to do and I don't regret it but it was horrible with lots of tears. The org agreed things took place which were pretty much copy and paste from their bullying policy but still said it wasn't bullying. Colleagues I thought I could rely on and who had raised their concerns with me individually didn't back me up. People closed ranks and I was forced out. Funnily enough some of those people who wouldn't back me up went on to have issues with the bully themselves.
As I say, even with all that, it was the right thing for me to do and I would do it again (albeit a bit differently) but I don't know what you have to gain.
Actually, right now I'm in the same position as you, I've handed in my notice and am counting the days. One of the main issues was bullying and I wasn't willing to get myself into the same position as I ended up last time. I'm xling CBT to try to remove the "victim. Pick on me" stanp I seem to have on my forehead.
Maybe look at constructive dismissal? I don't know much about it but may be a possibility if you do want to do "something".

HundredMilesAnHour Wed 04-Oct-17 21:12:32

I wish you'd come here for advice before resigning. You would have been in a much stronger position if you raised a formal grievance BEFORE you resigned. You would struggle to win a constructive dismissal cause without raising a written grievance first (and giving your employer the opportunity to do something about it).

I have raised grievances twice (different employers) and both times I took legal advice before doing this - and my lawyers reviewed my grievances before I submitted them. Both times I used this to negotiate a settlement. I was given the advice of whatever you do, don't resign!!

But since you have resigned, the question is what do you expect to get out out of a grievance?

sammie96 Wed 04-Oct-17 21:34:13

I have given my employer several chances over the last 18months to find a solution. Today they said they’ve tried but can’t get through to her. This seems like the next step, I don’t know if that’s right or not.

daisychain01 Wed 04-Oct-17 21:50:12

There is nothing in the OPs post that is remotely similar to Constructive Dismissal.

There certainly isn't anything that would entitle the OP to a settlement agreement either.

I'd walk away safe in the knowledge that you're rid of all the stresse, if it were me!

sammie96 Wed 04-Oct-17 23:56:23

Who deals with and decides the outcome of a grievance?

daisychain01 Thu 05-Oct-17 03:56:35

You'd have to address it to your line manager and HR

I can see why you feel a sense of injustice but I would channel your energies towards the future not the past.

The Grievance mechanism is used to resolve an issue between employee and employer They will have zero motivation to do anything other than give you platitudes (probably in writing) acknowledging your grievance, saying they have investigated the matter and have addressed it to ensure the matter is resolved. It ticks their corporate HR box and absolves them of any perceived obligation.

You'll probably feel more wound up that if you'd left it and got on with your life elsewhere.

sammie96 Thu 05-Oct-17 17:21:55

My manager wants a chat tomorrow, probably trying to talk me out of the grievance route. I’m not sure I want to do that now after reading into it, but they don’t need to know that just yet.

buckingfrolicks Thu 05-Oct-17 17:27:51

ask for mediation. By a proper mediator. It can really clear the air, get to what assumptions and misunderstandings are going on, and give both of you the chance to get back to working without the grief of a grievance

2014newme Thu 05-Oct-17 17:29:20

It's definitely not constructive dismissal

flowery Thu 05-Oct-17 18:05:34

What outcome would you be looking for?

shortcake76 Thu 05-Oct-17 20:41:53

You could retract your resignation & put a formal grievance in and go via the proper channels. If your line manager has failed to sort this out, it should be escalated to somebody who can conduct proper mediation between you and the person concerned.

What steps has the line manager actually taken to sort this out? Have they documented anything to evidence that they've taken your concerns seriously - or was it a chat, couldn't get through to them and business as usual?

sammie96 Fri 06-Oct-17 21:52:15

My manager wanted a chat today. I was expecting her to talk me out of making a formal complaint but it was the exact opposite. I’m shocked, she and the boss said they will back me up. They even put my resignation letter away for now until I decide what I want to do. They don’t want me to leave. If I want to go ahead with the formal grievance I need to put it all in writing. It’s expected that my ‘colleague’ will get a formal warning.

I was all for just moving on but this level of support has made me think again. I’d love to stay. I can’t see things improving though which I mentioned today but she pointed out that it’s the principle and that if she doesn’t change her ways there will be another warning and then I think dismissal. I am a bit wary as to why they are being so supportive and encouraging, it’s really not what I expected, I’m normally of the opinion that if it seems to good to be true it probably is. Am I being to suspicious?

Belleende Sat 07-Oct-17 08:07:52

I would be wary. It sounds like management are weak and want you to do their dirty work. What steps have they taken to address the behaviour? If they have done all they can and your grievance would be the final push, then fine. If they have done bugger all, then I would put the onus on them.

sammie96 Sat 07-Oct-17 09:29:12

Management has spoken to my ‘colleague’ on at least 3 occasions. All were informal chats but with no outcome at all. I first mentioned the problem about 18months ago but was told to sort it out myself (that was a different manager) I felt I couldn’t mention it again for almost a year because they didn’t want to get involved. New management now but old manager still works there in a different role. It felt wrong at the time to basically be told to go sort it yourself we can’t get involved. If that manager had taken it more seriously I wouldn’t of gone through what I’ve been through for the past 18months. She might not come out of this so well if I officially complain. I still have to work with her. I haven’t slept well, I worry a lot. If I complain I don’t know how I will sleep, I worry about repercussions.

Puddlesy Sat 07-Oct-17 12:24:01

Can you trust them though?

sammie96 Sat 07-Oct-17 12:42:44

Do you think they are setting me up for a fall? Or just trying to look like they are doing the right thing? Maybe they are being genuine, I’m confused

daisychain01 Sat 07-Oct-17 14:02:27

I think you need to take a step back from the situation and be clear about what has happened. I can understand you feel confused but if you can remove yourself from the detail and see the bigger picture it might be helpful.

You stated upthread that you have resigned. A grievance is only worth doing if you're planning to stay but you arent. A colleague has been disrespectful and unprofessional and management have failed to act on your concerns. Be that as it may, they have done nothing "wrong" legally and the fact they want you to stay and arent eager to accept your resignation is good in one way (They value you and don't want to lose you) but not good in another way. It is giving you mixed messages (why didn't they take you seriously why didn't they act sooner? Why wont they confirm your resignation?) the answer to why they didn't deal with the rude colleague may be that management in general rarely take sides as it can open them up to problems and distracts them from the job in hand. Most of the time they try to minimise and kick it into the long grass hoping it will dissipate if they dont add fuel to the fire.

The decision is your's whether you leave or stay. Do what's right for you and your career. Forget about what they think or whether they are setting you up to fail. Why would they? They may be responding to the faint whiff of constructive dismissal but in reality it isnt. They probably just don't want it to escalate so keeping you sweet is part of that strategy.

Cakeoftheday1 Mon 09-Oct-17 00:48:54

I would put 100% effort. into looking for another job. If you are able to stay in your current job that is a bonus. Life is too short to be unhappy

sammie96 Wed 11-Oct-17 03:11:28

Well I’ve decided to raise a grievance. It started writing it all down in chronological order. It’s been going on 18months now and I’ve reported it unofficially 6 times! This really is my last resort. I really want to stay in my job and I really want to be treated respectfully. I’ve not finished yet but have had to put it down, I look up and it 3am! I’m wide awake, I bet I won’t be in 3 hours.

Hedgehogparty Wed 18-Oct-17 18:51:55

I put in a grievance for health related issues at work that were repeatedly not addressed by the manager there. After 2 months, the grievance still hadn't been heard or resolved.
I worked in a v small office and decided it just wasn't practical to stay. The irony was that on my final day, a colleague confided that she had been on the verge of handing in her notice for other issues. We could have complained together.
I'm glad I left, my experience is that long term, people won't back you up and issues are ignored.

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