Sham Grievance Procedure

A poorly written grievance letter provides your employer every opportunity to rubbish what you have stated, and conduct a sham grievance procedure. Employers are notorious for conducting a sham grievance investigation where the employee has [failed] to establish the employers liability. This is why it is so very important that you do not give your employer the opportunity to [act] in a capricious manner.

Grievance Letter Template

Establishing a well written grievance letter, will make it very difficult for an employer to conduct a sham grievance, and where it does, inference can be drawn against the employer in an Employment Tribunal.

Bracebridge Engineering Ltd v Darby [1990] IRLR 3 EAT):

“A sham grievance investigation breaches the implied term that employers would reasonably and promptly afford a reasonable opportunity to their employees to obtain redress of any grievance they may have……the right to obtain redress against a grievance is fundamental.”

A Fair Grievance Procedure – Case Law

Wigan Borough Council v Davies[1979] ICR 411
An implied term in contracts of employment is that the employer will provide reasonable support to ensure that the employee can carry out his/her duties without harassment or disruption by fellow workers; and where an employer has an obligation to take reasonable steps to achieve something and takes few or no steps, the onus of proving what steps would have been reasonable is on the employer.

Bracebridge Engineering Ltd v Darby [1990] IRLR 3 EAT
A failure to seriously consider a genuine grievance, or to operate an ineffective grievance procedure could be grounds for constructive dismissal.

Goolds v MccOnnell [1995] IRLR 516
The duty to reasonably and promptly afford an opportunity to employees to obtain redress of any grievance they may have.

Spink -v- Express Foods Limited [1990] IRLR 320
“It is a fundamental part of a fair disciplinary procedure that an employee know the case against him. Fairness requires that someone accused should know the case to be met; should hear or be told the important parts of the evidence in support of that case; should have an opportunity to criticise or dispute that evidence and to adduce his own evidence and argue his case.”