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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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    Testimonials

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    269 Reviews

    Sue W

    The people at Redmans talk to you with respect and make you feel like they take your situation personal. They clearly care and are extremely professional. I have recommended Redmans to many people.

    Posted 3 days ago

    Anonymous

    Redmans Solicitors were consistently prompt, efficient and professional from the start of my reaching out to them for support in relation to contentious negotiations of an employment matter that continued for almost two months resulting in a positive settlement agreement. Chris Hadrill was diligent, thorough, empathetic and objective in his advice and guidance, showing deep and broad knowledge of the law and legal processes plus extensive practical experience in handling complex matters, resulting in clear and pragmatic advice in ambiguous circumstances that resulted in a very good outcome. I fully recommend Chris Hadrill and Redmans Solicitors! I have made this review anonymous purely because of the confidentiality obligations in the settlement agreement concluded.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Michelle W

    Redmans solicitors provided legal support and advice for a settlement agreement. Excellent customer service, very professional. The senior associate solicitor kept me updated throughout the process, showed empathy and the agreement was signed-off / completed within the agreed timeline.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Mark W

    Redmans Solicitors were extremely professional and helpful! Chris Hadrill handled my case and was an amazing help! His guidance, advice and understanding to my redundancy settlement were always clear, concise and very helpful and I am very grateful to him, and glad I found Redmans to help with my settlement. I highly recommend them!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Alison M

    Very happy with the advice I received

    Posted 1 month ago

    Margaret A

    I found everything about the company to be extremely professional and efficient. During my initial contact with Chris, he listened well and was reassuring, so I felt confident that my case would be well handled. Caroline was excellent at explaining all the legal points and answering my questions, as well as being very supportive and understanding throughout the process. I would definitely recommend this company.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Sanja K

    Very efficient and professional service.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I found the advice I was given by Redmans Solicitors to be clear and useful and found the solicitor on my case to be both knowledgeable and approachable.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Karen T

    Great service. Thank you.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service from Chris & Mel Chin. The best outcome was achieved from the redundancy process. They were extremely thorough, listened carefully and acted swiftly on my behalf. I highly recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 1 month ago

    Shanine M

    Excellent service, thank you so much!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I found Caroline and Chris very Helpful and provided excellent service. Caroline especially provided great legal advice and made me feel at ease with the whole process. I would highly recommend them. Thank you!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Gayle B

    Excellent company very professional would definitely recommend

    Posted 1 month ago

    Alex K

    Redmans provided an excellent service, timely and effective. Will definitely recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Great job done on my employment law

    Posted 1 month ago

    Dominica S

    Caroline & Chris were very prompt and efficient.Very happy with the service and will definitely recommend Redmans Solicitor to everyone !

    Posted 1 month ago

    Sandra K

    If you are looking for a group of solicitors who are Professional, Caring and on point, then look no futher than Redmans. I was literally hand held through out my case. Can not find fault with this company, very happy with the result and the service i received. Would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I found dealing with Redmans a pleasure. I got to speak to someone quickly, the advice was profferred promplty and the service was not 'pushy'. In addition, the administration was excellent. What more could you ask for?

    Posted 1 month ago

    ALISDAIR L

    Redmans did a brilliant job regarding my redundancy agreement. I miss read an extra charge which wasnt the case so doing a new review to clarify. I would recommend Redmans for any employment law issues you may have.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Christos G

    Great legal advice and quick correspondence. Very supportive and helpful through the entire process. Thank you Redmans!

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Chris Hadrill advised me on a redundancy settlement agreement. He was very responsive, easy to deal with and gave me good advice at a stressful time.

    Posted 2 months ago