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Did you do this in writing? Also, does the company you work for have a formal procedure regarding grievances?
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When you raise a grievance the employer is required to follow their own grievance procedure, as well as the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance procedures. The ACAS Code is the binding reference and any policy should be drafted to follow it.
As far as the Code is concerned, it states that “Employers should arrange for a formal meeting to be held without unreasonable delay after a grievance is received.” So it does not stipulate a specific time limit within which a meeting should be held and all it requires is that it is done ‘without unreasonable delay’.
You would then need to consult the company’s own grievance policy to see if they have any set timelines in there as they would have to be adhered to in addition. So if the 7 day deadline is stipulated in there, the employer should really be adhering to that and any unreasonable or unjustified delay should not be allowed.
Then again, there is nothing that can force the employer to hold a meeting within the set deadline – this is policy but there could be reasons why they may not be able to do that. Management could be off on holidays, they may simply not be as organised as one would expect them to be, etc. I suggest that you contact them to remind them that delaying this means that they are now likely in breach of the ACAS Code for unreasonably delaying the meeting.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have should they either delay the meeting for a prolonged period of time, or fail to hold one, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Thank you. An unreasonable delay to hold a grievance meeting or a failure to hold one at all could amount to a breach of trust and confidence However, due to the way +UK employment law operates this is something which can only be challenged if the affected employee has more than 2 years’ service. This is because the only potential way to challenge it is by resigning and claiming constructive dismissal, for which one of the main criteria is having at least 2 years’ service.
As constructive dismissal can be a risky claim, an alternative way out is to approach the employer on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under a settlement agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, although the employer does not have to agree to it so it will be subject to negotiation. In any event, there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them because you cannot be treated detrimentally for suggesting it and it would not be used against you.