How long should it take to respond to my grievance?

(9 Posts)
Sunnyside1 Thu 16-Apr-20 08:23:21

After suffering terrible bullying by my line manager, I submitted a written grievance giving evidence and details of witnesses who were present. I submitted this at the start of March.

It took them 3 weeks to ask me what I wanted to be done about it. They verbally agreed it was bad behavior by the line manager, but because that person was shortly moving to another department they though that should be the end of my problem. They asked if I really wanted it investigating down the formal root, because they said that it would be stressful for me if I did. My response was that they have an organisational policy stating zero tolerance to bullying and regardless of the persons seniority it should be dealt with seriously, therefore I confirmed that I did want it investigated down the formal route as he is still employed within the organisation.

They said they would need to appoint an investigating officer and then I will need to give a signed statement. That was 3 weeks ago and I still haven't heard anything.

I feel that they can't be bothered to investigate my grievance because if her seniority. Is it normal for grievances to take this long or should i have heard something by now? Would you suggest that I chase it up?

OP’s posts: |
Somebodysringingabell Thu 16-Apr-20 08:25:37

Do you think a global pandemic might have something to do with the delay?

daisypond Thu 16-Apr-20 08:34:26

By law, businesses need a grievance policy, of which you should have a copy. Timescales and the various stages should be in there.
www.gov.uk/handling-employee-grievance/grievance-procedure

But these are unusual times. Things are not necessarily working as they should.

HasaDigaEebowai Thu 16-Apr-20 08:37:25

The likelihood of grievances etc being concluded in the same amount of time at the moment is practically zero. Even in normal times it wouldn't be particularly unusual for you not to have been interviewed yet if its a complex grievance.

TARSCOUT Thu 16-Apr-20 08:38:19

Look up acas.

Mmsnet101 Thu 16-Apr-20 08:43:18

Grievances can take a long time. They need to find someone as independent as possible to do the investigation, who has sufficient authority and also has time to investigate. Then statements and evidence from you, the person accused and witnesses etc. This will also be a lot harder in the current climate due to workload/furlough /other priorities / getting hold of people etc.

I know it feels like they've tried to put you off by warning of the stress of going through it all, but it is a genuine issue.

Feel free to chase for an update but be aware it may take months to resolve and the resolution might not be what you want/expect depending on evidence.

HasaDigaEebowai Thu 16-Apr-20 08:50:21

I'm a solicitor but I also do lots of independent investigator work. I wouldn't be taking it on at the moment unless it could be done remotely.

categoricallycrackers Thu 16-Apr-20 09:21:07

Just to echo and reinforce comments above, I undertake investigations including grievances at work. My work, and I imagine most people's work has gone haywire as a result of the pandemic so I can see why there might be a longer than usual delay in finding someone to conduct the grievance. Even in normal times these grievances play out slowly. They take a lot of time, they are done with care. Usually a few people are interviewed, statements are written up, facts are checked. It's a big undertaking for the employer to run a grievance. It's also hard on most people involved, the person raising it, the people interviewed, the person who the grievance is raised against, particularly if the grievance unfounded (not saying yours isn't - speaking generally here). Unless you have surefire evidence, many witnesses, something in writing, it can be he said she said and difficult to get to the truth of which can produce a bit of an unhelpful open verdict. Some of the above reasons were likely why they were asking if you were sure you wanted to go ahead.

All that said, your circumstances may absolutely warrant a grievance and your employer is obliged to run it. Think about the likely outcome here, see if you can explore that with HR. Obviously they can't predetermine what the outcome is in your case but they might be able to take you through a likely range of outcomes for grievances. If your goal was say, dismissal of the person you raise the grievance against, ask HR how often your company have dismissed on the basis of a grievance against an individual. In my experience people often feel burnt by the whole experience and the outcome doesn't give the, satisfaction.

categoricallycrackers Thu 16-Apr-20 09:24:57

Just to say, HR teams are particularly hard hit by the fall out from the pandemic - it's them dealing with all the staffing issues that arise.

Apologies for my message above too, all over the shop as Was editing and hit submit by mistake! Good luck with it OP whatever happens.

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