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Anyone working for us may, at some time, have a problem or concern about their work, working conditions or relationships with colleagues that they wish to discuss. It is also clear that it is in our interest to resolve problems before they can develop into major difficulties for all concerned.

Grievances should be raised as soon as possible after the incident or issue arises. You and your manager are expected to work together to resolve issues quickly and informally where this is possible and appropriate. This helps with resolving your concerns early, reduces disruption at work and helps working relationships.

A grievance is a concern, problem or complaint that you raise with us.

Issues that may cause a grievance include:

  • terms and conditions of employment
  • health and safety
  • work relations
  • bullying and harassment
  • new working practices
  • working environment
  • organisational change
  • discrimination

You have the right to be accompanied by a companion, at all formal stages of this procedure. A companion can be:

  • a trade union representative or official
  • a work colleague.

If you choose to be accompanied copies of grievance meeting notices, meeting notes, response letter, etc will be sent to that person, unless you advise otherwise, in writing.

Support and counselling may be offered to you if you are involved in grievance investigation and hearings. Please contact People Management HR team for advice.

Your manager, the Investigating Officer and the Grievance Hearing Panel will consider your needs during the process if you are disabled and make reasonable adjustments as necessary.  For example, ensuring that locations have appropriate access, written information is provided in a suitable format, etc.

If you raise a grievance during any disciplinary process your Director or his/her representative will decide whether it is correct to temporarily delay the disciplinary process in order to deal with your grievance.

Where your disciplinary and grievance concerns relate to each other it may be more appropriate to deal with both at the same time.

The following is provided as guidance only as there may be situations that mean roles and responsibilities need to change.

Your responsibilities

You should raise your grievance promptly usually with your manager, clearly explaining the problem or concern and suggesting how it can be resolved at the informal stage, where appropriate. When explaining the grievance you are reminded to stick to the facts and avoid subjective or emotional comments. You are encouraged to work with your manager to try and resolve your grievance informally to help maintain a positive working relationship. If your grievance relates to your manager then you should raise your concern with a more senior manager.

Your Manager

Is usually responsible for dealing with your grievance and acting promptly, clarifying your grievance, establishing the facts and confirming the outcome to you (with advice from PM HR Team). If it is not appropriate for your manager to deal with your grievance then another manager may take the lead (with advice from the PM HR Team). Any written records held by your Manager will be held in line with data protection principles.

People Management (PM).

To ensure consistency, the PMP HR Team will provide advice at every stage of the procedure and will monitor and report on the application of the Policy. PMP will also be responsible for ensuring that written records are retained on personal files for the appropriate period and following the principles of the Data Protection Act.

Your concern should be resolved informally, quickly and sensitively whenever this is possible.

You and your manager should make every effort to try and resolve the grievance informally so discuss with your manager in the first instance. Where your grievance relates to your manager then you should raise your concern with a more senior manager.

If you have difficulty explaining your grievance because of language or other reason then you are encouraged to seek help from a trade union representative or official, another employee or a HR Advisor.

There may be times when your concern cannot be resolved informally. Depending on the reasons, you may raise your grievance formally and in writing to a more senior manager by completing the Grievance Procedure Form.

Where your grievance relates to your manager and this has not been resolved informally with a more senior manager, you should raise your concern with your Head of Service.

Where you have a concern about the Chief Executive you should raise the matter in writing with the Monitoring Officer.

The Manager/Head of Service will acknowledge your formal grievance within 14 calendar days and invite you to a meeting to discuss your concerns. This should take place as soon as possible and you should take all reasonable steps to attend.

The outcome of the meeting should be notified to you in writing within 14 calendar days.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome you may raise your grievance formally and in writing with the Assistant Chief Executive (People Management) within 14 calendar days of receipt of the Manager/Head of Service’s formal decision. This should be done by completing the Grievance Procedure Form. The Assistant Chief Executive (People Management) will acknowledge receipt of your formal grievance within 14 calendar days.

The Assistant Chief Executive (People Management) will invite you to a stage 2 grievance meeting so your grievance can be discussed. Your Director and an Executive Board Member will consider your grievance. This should take place as soon as possible and you should take all reasonable steps to attend.

The decision at the Stage 2 meeting will be final and should be notified to you within 14 calendar days.

During a grievance meeting you will be able to explain your concern and say how you think it can be resolved. The Officer chairing the grievance meeting may wish to adjourn the meeting to enable him/her to get more information or obtain advice and a date to meet again will be agreed at that time, if possible.

If you are a manager please read ‘Preparing for a Formal Grievance Meeting – Guidance for Managers (.pdf)’

Following the meeting, a written response should be sent to you within 14 calendar days.

Written records will be kept throughout the grievance process, including:

  • The nature of the grievance
  • What was decided and actions taken
  • The reasons for the actions
  • Whether an appeal was lodged
  • The outcome of the appeal
  • Any subsequent developments

Records should be retained on your personal file.

Records should be treated as confidential and kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

All Officers and Councillors involved in the disciplinary process will receive appropriate support and/or training. More information is available in the Learning & Development section of the intranet.

This policy must be applied consistently to all employees irrespective of race, colour, ethnic or national origins (including citizenship), language, disability, religion, belief or non belief, age, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, parental or marital/civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity.

If you have any equality and diversity concerns in relation to the application of this policy and procedure, please contact a member of the HR Team who will, if necessary, ensure the policy/procedure is reviewed accordingly.

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Page updated: 07/04/2021 09:43:48