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Anyone know about Grievances? Wanna read my letter and advise?

(10 Posts)
bohemianbint Fri 24-Aug-07 15:15:45

If there's anyone about I'll post it - it is about 3 pages long though! Would really appreciate some input...

mamasin Fri 24-Aug-07 16:13:54

I submitted my own grievance letter and I must say I thought it was pretty good. I'll take a butchers if you like!

bohemianbint Fri 24-Aug-07 18:05:33

cheers! Here ya go:

Dear X

I have several problems with the way that I have been treated since returning from maternity leave.

1. At the meeting we had on the 18th of August I found your attitude towards the problems I experienced whilst on maternity leave to be entirely unsympathetic. You then made the comment: “We’ll see what having a baby has done to your brain when you come back to work.” This is discriminatory and entirely unacceptable.

2. It has been extremely difficult to clarify the nature of my role since I returned to work on Tuesday 7th August. On the 14th I asked you to confirm that I would still be writing manuals. You said that I would no longer be writing manuals. On Tuesday 21st August when I raised the issue again you backtracked and said that I would be able to write manuals “if a suitable project arose.” However you made it quite clear that you don’t expect this to happen.

3. During our discussion on the 14th August at 9.30am, when I expressed concern at not having returned to the same role, your response was “you wanted to return part time”. This was said in such a way as to imply that my dissatisfaction with the changes is my own fault. I had a right to request flexible working hours, but if it was not convenient, you also had the right to refuse.

4. My contract states that I should be working alongside a Consultant “providing copywriting, editing and proofreading services to clients on a project basis.” Historically this is what my role consisted of; prior to going on leave, freelance work accounted for the overwhelming majority of my workload. As that was my normal job, then that is what I am entitled to return to, irrespective of the specific wording in my contract, unless you discussed otherwise with me before I returned.

5. As my role no longer includes manual writing on a day to day basis, it was your responsibility to inform me of this change before I returned to work. It is good practice for employers to consult with mothers about any proposed changes to their job at the end of their maternity leave. At no point did you raise this with me.

6. I feel it is unfair that you think I will not be able to complete a project whilst returning two days per week, as X has been allowed to work on a project whilst returning one day a week.

7. When we discussed the situation again on the 21st August at 4.15pm, you commented that I had “not deigned to keep in touch” whilst on leave and stated that this meant that I am “not a team player.” I found these comments distressing for several reasons:
I. This is simply not true. I kept in touch above and beyond what was required of me by law, and met with both X and X on several occasions.
II. Even if this accusation was true, it is irrelevant to the discussion that we were having.
III. You were aware of the personal hardships that I suffered during my maternity leave and were wholly unsympathetic and dismissive.
IV. The onus is on the employer to keep the employee informed of any changes, which you failed to do.

I feel as though I am being treated differently since my return and during the conversations we have had since I have found you to be hostile and accusatory.

All I want is to be able to do my normal job without my maternity leave and part time return affecting how I am treated in the office. I hope that we can deal with these issues satisfactorily for all concerned. Please let me know when you would like to set the date for the hearing.

bohemianbint Mon 27-Aug-07 15:42:30

bumping for mamasin!

grumpyfrumpy Mon 27-Aug-07 18:49:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheDuchess Mon 27-Aug-07 18:57:40

What do you really want to be the outcome? For what its worth, I don't think this letter or hearing will change the way you are treated unless the manager goes. How likely is that?

flowerybeanbag Mon 27-Aug-07 19:29:04

I agree be specific about what you want from this. Do you want your job to change if so to what, do you want an apology for inappropriate comments, etc think about what you are after. Doesn't mean you'll get it of course, but it's a starting point.
Remove section 7 line III. It's irrelevant to this, and being unsympathetic to personal hardships is annoying but isn't really relevant to the main points of what you are saying. Putting that in reads as though you are trying to think of as many nasty things as possible and throwing them all in, which you don't need to do. The other stuff is much less subjective, more factual, which is better, and would be complicated by adding this bit in as well.

Albsmum Tue 28-Aug-07 14:50:55

I don't know if it's help to you - but I raised a formal grievance with my employers, in much the same way as you have done. My advice would be to be alot more technical in your letter - site every legal reason under the sun for your grievance (e.g. I sited sex discrimination with regards to working from home, because another member of my team was permitted to do so one day a week, and he was male etc. the points are easy to find - go onto the citizens advice website, and check your legal position. If you want to have a go at putting the legal bits and pieces together I will happily look through it for you. I will also go through my documentation tonight at home (I'm in work at the moment) and try and find you a few handy little quotes that my solicitor wrote for me ! (For what's it's worth - I won my case)
Good luck - and remember, you are legally entitled to your job back - esepcially if you are on OML - infact, on OML, they will be hard pushed to even change parts of your job. It begins to become a little more blurred after AML - but still worth persuing.

mamasin Mon 03-Sep-07 16:38:41

sorry bohemian - was away for the weekend.
I agree with grumpy and flowery, leave out point seven line iii.
I would reduce your letter further, you can cover yourself by saying "Some remarks I have found to be particularly distressing are:..
also though it's hard be conciliatory, if you are nice (at least at the outset!)it makes it easier for them to be nicer to you.
"while I understand that changing my work pattern involves considerable thought as we adjust, I think it necessary that the following points be raised....
I know how tempting it is to kick them up the behind and lay it all out how badly (and illegally?) you've been treated, but hold fire a little... It'll be worth it.

missbumpy Mon 03-Sep-07 17:59:30

FWIW, I know it sounds obvious but you should make it clear that you're raising a grievance and that this should therefore be treated as the 1st step in a grievance procedure. I'd put a first line in saying something like "I believe I have been treated in an unfair/discriminatory way since my return to work and, as such, I am raising a grievance".

I'd also put a final paragraph in again making it clear that it's a grievance and that you expect something to be done about it (check your own company's procedure to see if they set out a deadline for when they must respond to a grievance).

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