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ViewHR Case Study: Grievance 

Since its beginning, ViewHR has helped countless organisations with HR and employment law matters; it is fair to say that many matters could have turned out vastly different without intervention by the team. This week’s blog will review a case where ViewHR had a significant impact on resolving conflict and highlights how we can similarly help your business.  


In mid-2022, an employee raised a grievance against one of the organisation’s directors; the grievance cited unfair treatment, behaviours that demonstrated a want for the employee to leave, and unreasonable instructions given. The grievance gave in-depth examples of situations comprising the three overarching complaints. For example, the employee alleged: inappropriate use of CCTV, requests upon the employee in terms of roles and responsibilities, and a director changing IT access impacting upon an employee’s ability to perform their duties.  


The ViewHR Consultant wrote to the employee to highlight the requirements of ACAS, inviting them to a grievance meeting; during the meeting, the complaint was reviewed and questioned to ensure every detail was captured to guarantee we had all the correct information. Moreover, the all-important question was asked, how would you like the grievance resolved?  

The employee ideally wanted the situation to be resolved by changing their working pattern, understanding their duties and potentially mediation following the investigation.  

Following this, a full investigation was carried out; witness testimonies were taken, and evidence was obtained and properly catalogued. It is worth noting that without the right investigation training or technique, vital elements or details that might be the key to the case could be missed. Consultants at ViewHR are well-trained and moreover have years of experience.  

A professional report was produced highlighting the facts of the case, details of what was found during the investigation, as well as making seven recommendations based on the information. Now the investigation was complete, the HR Consultant could make decisions on whether to uphold or not the complaints found within the original grievance.  

In this case, the grievance decisions were appealed. Internally we needed to assign another HR Consultant who had not dealt with the case before to ensure unbiased. A colleague was assigned, and a further meeting took place after which an additional investigation was conducted.  


In general, this grievance was not out of the ordinary. However, the complexity of this case was largely due to relationships between directors and employees, and as such emotions were particularly high. As investigations were unfolding, two distinct camps of directors and employees were identified, each with competing views and perspectives. As mentioned, emotions were high and so finding the facts amongst opinions proved difficult. There were also sickness absence matters to contend with at the same time, so this needed to be taken into account when handling the matter.  


External HR Consultants are not exposed to the build-up of emotions; the ViewHR Team was able to seek and find the objective facts of the case which proved particularly important in this situation. Moreover, having an external perspective allowed the HR Consultant to take an impartial view and was not drawn into picking sides. Our experience, professional approach, and training helped to uncover facts, which were not initially available, calm emotions also aid us in reaching a rational conclusion.  

In this case, the outcome of the appeal was overarchingly similar to that of the original. Recommendations included: 

  • Mediation should be considered between parties to help everyone move forward. 
  • Relationship between directors needed to be addressed separately to the employees. 
  • Clear job descriptions should be produced. 
  • Updated GDPR policies and procedures. 

How ViewHR can help you? 

Throughout the process, ViewHR took an independent perspective, removed emotions, and dug for the facts. ViewHR carefully crafted all invite letters, meeting notes, investigation and outcome reports to ensure accuracy, ACAS compliance and communicate any outcomes reached skilfully.  

ViewHR can do the same for your organisation. We can be that independent voice that guides the situation to completion, be that advising on a case or leading it as we did for the grievance. Equally, sometimes our team Mediators are able to jump in before a grievance arises and help prevent further contention within an organisation. 

If you would like our advice and help to resolve disciplinary or grievance matters, or indeed mediation or legal assistance, contact one of our professional team members today.