HR & Employment Law Insights

Helping family businesses, start-ups, charities, social enterprises, and other growing or established businesses throughout the UK make sense of HR and Employment Law challenges.

We get asked HR related questions every day and each week we share with you, our top question of the week that we have been asked here at The HR Booth.

In this week’s question of the week, we advise what to do when an ex-employee raises a grievance.

Question

I have had an ex-employee tell me they are going to raise a grievance, how do I deal with this?

Answer

In truth, it depends on, ... The purpose of the Grievance procedures is to deal wi and seek to resolve, complaints from current employees. It is not intended to deal with complaints by former employees. However, you may find that a former employee raises a dispute after they have left, or even in their resignation letter, about your business or about you personally. Depending on what the complaint is, this could form the basis of an employment tribunal claim, which could cost you. For example if the complaint raises issues about potential discrimination on any of the protected grounds (e.g. disability, race, gender, age etc.), or issues of bullying, or even breach of contract etc., it is recommended that you communicate with your ex-employee in an attempt to seek to respond to and resolve the issue. This does not, however, require the use of a formal grievance procedure with a right of appeal. As a general rule, the effort you put into responding to the ex-employee would be directly linked to the risk presented by their complaint… of course, that’s what we’re here to help and support you with.

In an ideal world, though, you would already have known about your ex-employees issue before they left… as it’s really good practice to promote open communication with all your employees and encourage them to talk to you about any issues they may have so that you can try to and resolve these before they become a real problem. Of course, if an informal chat doesn’t work then that’s what your grievance procedure is there for.

If you have any questions on this then please get in touch.