Area of work: HR operations
Date/Length of relationship: Long-term (15+ years)
Following rejection of an individual grievance relating to annual leave, religious observance and sabbaticals, nearly 30 employees submitted a collective grievance citing similar grounds of complaint.
A number of employees were members of a Trade Union (unrecognised by the employer), which acted as their representative in the context of the collective grievance process.
Given the complexity of the matters complained of and the company’s lack of experience in dealing with grievances on a collective basis, EML was appointed to hear, investigate and respond to the complaint. Our appointment also ensured transparency and legal compliance.
EML assigned the project to a consultant with significant prior experience in handling collective grievances. She liaised directly with Union representatives and the group of employees as necessary and appropriate. Her role involved:
- Direct correspondence with all employees to keep them fully appraised of the procedures being adopted, their rights and the representations being made on their behalves.
- Management of the election process relating to the appointment of employee representatives to attend the collective grievance hearing alongside the Union representative.
- Chairing the formal collective grievance hearing.
- Conducting a thorough investigation, involving:
- One-to-one investigation meetings with first line and senior managers, as well as colleagues belonging to the collective group
- Review of documentation including historical correspondence, policy notifications and company-wide communication strategy and practices
- Preparing a detailed account of findings and written outcome to all parties, including the right of appeal.
- Provision of follow-up recommendations to the company relating to communication, policy decisions and training for first line management.
Members of the collective group were satisfied that full consideration of the matters raised had been given and acknowledged the rationale provided in respect of the decision.
The decision was not appealed and as a result of the findings, the company refined its guidelines in the areas complained of and improved its communication of the related policy / procedure.
The company’s internal teams and senior management continue to receive ongoing support from EML in respect of HR and Health & Safety matters.
If you would like more information on how we can support you with employee grievances and disciplinary hearings, please contact Karen Moffett on 01942 369674.