Page last updated: 02 February 2020
Concerns over your work or behaviour?
If you are requested to attend an investigation about your work or behaviour, we recommend that you contact a steward as soon as possible. Employees are legally allowed to request a trade union representative or colleague to accompany them to a formal investigation about their work or conduct.
Formal action: grievance/ disciplinary/ capability
Guidelines for each organisation are likely to vary slightly but their basic structure should follow that laid down by ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service). These guidelines may be set out in your employee handbook or may exist as separate policies available from your HR (Personnel) department or through your organisation's intranet.
In brief, a grievance is taken out by an employee against a colleague(s) where the employee feels that she/he has been unfairly treated. A disciplinary may be taken out by a line manager/ HR against an individual where it is felt that there has been a breach of acceptable standards of behaviour/ conduct. A competency hearing is similar to a disciplinary except that the focus is on the ability of the individual to successfully fulfill the requirement of the role. Each of these formal processes will involve an investigation to ascertain the facts and a written report will be produced within agreed timeframes. The possibility of appeal will also exist.
What you must never do / always do
- Never leave it to the last minute
- Always involve your rep as early as possible
Leaving it too late often means that it's too late for the rep to provide meaningful help. This may be frustrating for the member but it's also frustrating for the rep.
Your steward is here to help and ensure that you are given all appropriate support. However, your rep cannot turn back time if you have acted or behaved inappropriately. Your steward will ensure that appropriate guidelines and policies are adhered to as well as providing a confidential channel to discuss an issue and its wider implications.