You can raise a grievance with your employer when you have concerns about any aspect of your working life. You can also use the grievance process to raise issues relating to the terms and conditions of your employment. You should always try to resolve disputes informally before raising a formal grievance and a number of grievance procedures allow for this as the first stage of the process.

You should familiarise yourself with your employer’s grievance policy before taking any action. Also, you should talk to your UNISON rep or the West Sussex branch office before taking any action. Get our advice first!

Grievances typically cover the following areas:

  • pay and working conditions;
  • terms of employment and workplace rules;
  • disagreements with co-workers;
  • allegations of unfair treatment at work.

A grievance hearing is a meeting which deals with grievances raised by employees. You should be formally written to by your employer, inviting you to a meeting. This letter should set out your rights to bring a trade union rep to the meeting with you.

You have a legal right to take someone to the meeting with you under the Employment Relations Act 1999. The accompanying person could be:

  • a colleague;
  • your UNISON rep;
  • a UNISON official.

Always discuss your grievance with your rep or the UNISON office first. Also, try to liaise with your union rep before accepting a date for a meeting. UNISON can only get the date re-arranged once to fit with rep/officer availability – so check with us first.