Handling an employee's grievance

Last updated: 7 March 2017

Grievance hearing

Preparing for the hearing

Before holding a hearing, employers should:

  • give the employee notice so that they can prepare their case
  • carry out out a full investigation if necessary and take statements from any witnesses who cannot attend
  • make it clear that the employee can bring a colleague or union representative if they want to
  • arrange for another manager to attend to make sure that the hearing is conducted properly
  • arrange for someone to take notes


If the employee cannot attend the hearing (eg because they are ill), offer them a reasonable alternative date and time.

The employee can also suggest a different time for the hearing if the person accompanying them cannot attend. They must do this within 5 working days after you proposed the original meeting time.

You can make your decision without having a hearing if:

  • you have already rearranged the meeting, but the employee fails to attend
  • the employee is on long-term sick leave and unable to go to meetings in the near future (they can supply written information instead if they want to)
Handling an employee's grievance
Grievance hearing