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In this article Chris Hadrill, the partner in the employment department at Redmans, examines how submitting a grievance can assist an employee in negotiating settlement agreement terms

What is a grievance?

A grievance is, essentially, an explanation of complaints that you have (in this context, in the workplace). A grievance can be formal or informal, submitted in writing or verbally.

An ‘informal’ grievance is normally (although not always) verbal in nature, in that you will generally be explaining your complaints ‘informally’ to your line manager (or appropriate third party) with the understanding that these complaints will be acted upon.

A ‘formal’ grievance will generally (although, again, not always) be a last resort for an unhappy employee, as it will generally mean that the employee will submit in writing a formal document detailing what they are complaining about and how they want their complaints resolved.

How can submitting a grievance help you?

Submitting a grievance, whether formally, or informally, can achieve the following results:

  1. It will serve as a contemporaneous statement of exactly what problems you have been experiencing – this can be helpful not only in the context of resolving your grievance but can also assist in negotiating settlement agreement terms or as evidence in a claim to the Employment Tribunal
  2. It will notify your employer that you have specific complaints about aspects of the workplace, which can often be helpful for employers (as it will allow them to resolve workplace conflicts and make the workplace a more welcoming and productive environment)
  3. It can help to leverage a settlement agreement

What impact can submitting a grievance have on your ability to negotiate a settlement agreement?

Submitting a formal written grievance can often have a positive impact on your ability to negotiate settlement agreement terms for the following reasons:

  1. It will lay down a version of events that you can rely on when arguing about your potential claims
  2. It will signal to your employer that you are serious about pursuing your complaints, whether internally through your employer’s grievance process or, alternatively, externally through an Employment Tribunal claim
  3. It will give your employer (or their legal team) the ability to analyse what potential claims you may have and the risk that they fact in you bringing such claims
  4. Dealing with a formal grievance will often be viewed as an extra administrative burden by employers, and avoiding this burden is often a factor for employers when deciding to offer settlement agreements – this normally isn’t the sole factor but often plays a part (whether minor or major)

Top tips for using a grievance to negotiate a settlement agreement

If you’re considering submitting a grievance to your employer in order to assist you in negotiating settlement agreement terms then

  1. Consider also submitting a ‘subject access request’ with your grievance so that you can force your employer to give you information which could be helpful to you in pursuing your grievance process, negotiating settlement agreement terms, and/or pursuing an Employment Tribunal claim, as relevant
  2. Be clear and concise when drafting the grievance and concentrate on relevant points – the clearer your grievance is, generally the more likely it will be taken seriously
  3. When you have submitted your grievance, approach your employer to propose settlement agreement terms – taking a pro-active approach to negotiating a settlement agreement can often be helpful

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

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    Jonathan L

    The service I received was friendly and professional. I appreciated the timely communications and Mel was always available for any questions I had. I'd definitely recommend Redmans and will use them in a heartbeat should the situation arise again.

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    Fidel A

    Redmans Solicitors recently helped me navigate a recent employment termination settlement agreement. Chris Hadrill is very professional and you will be in good hands with him. I score Redmans 4 out of 5 because things had to move fast and felt the team member assigned to my case wasn't very responsive at times. Having said that, I was very happy with the outcome and have no hesitation in recommending their services.

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    I was made a settlement offer by my employer to terminate my emplyment early. Redmans helped me understand the offer, and ensured that it was fair for someone in my position. They made a very stressful situation much easier. Excellent service.

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    Anonymous

    I can highly recommend Redmans. The service was professional and prompt and I would not hesitate to use them again. Thanks

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    Anonymous

    Overall I am satisfied with the performance from Redmans. The reason I have given 4 stars is that I had quite a lot difficulty in contacting the representative which was initially nominated for me. However, when I contacted Chris instead, he was excellent over the phone and secured a great outcome in short order. I would recommend Redmans Solicitors.

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    Anonymous

    Chris and Redmans were a great help. Effective and efficient, quick response from my first enquiry and then straightforward and attentive throughout with ultimately a positive outcome. I will use them again and recommend them.

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    Marie P

    Great service, quick responses, good advice and all in a no nonsense, no jargon manner. Would definitely recommend.

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    Anonymous

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    Anonymous

    I am extremely happy with the legal advice I was provided with. My case was resolved to the best of my expectations. Thank you very much for your professional help.

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    Shahzad R

    Chris and his team were excellent. They provided sound advice and consultation that resulted in more cash than was offered. Would definitely recommend.

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    Sanjay B

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mel Chin, for all her support during my settlement process. Where she provided a professional service and was understanding. I would confidently recommend Redmans Solicitors to my friends and family. Thank you and wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Paul O

    Excellent response time and communication during my dealings with Redmans

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    Gil T

    I don’t normally write reviews, but thought it was time on this occasion. Just wanted to say that I highly recommend Redmans - especially Rana Tandon, who helped me navigate around my employment contract. Rana was meticulous and thorough and all over my needs. Would I use Redmans again ? ..absolutely

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    Stephanie D

    Very thorough and professional service. I was very nervous about my employment case, as I had never dealt with anything like it before. However, the solicitors who handled my case made sure I understood everything. I was never kept in the dark and Redmans kept me constantly informed about what was going on with my case. I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors

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    Richard S

    Chris and Sacha were great throughout the entire process. Chris was very helpful once the initial discussions with my company began and before we agreed there was a case. Sacha was very responsive, patient and helpful throughout ensuring I felt I had the right information to make the best decision on next steps. A close friend and wife have both used Redmans in the past few years for unfair dismissals and the service continues to be first-class and I would strongly recommend them again. They definitely help reduce the anxiety that comes with uncertainty around new processes and situations. Thank you!

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    Jianya

    Very nice and patient went through the whole document with me.

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    Very helpful and led me through the redundancy process.

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