Solve a workplace dispute




Problems with your employer usually fall into one of two categories:

  • grievances – when you raise your concerns, problems or complaints with your employer
  • disciplinaries – when your employer has concerns about your work, conduct or absence

Explain your concern to your manager to see if you can sort out any problems informally. You may find it helpful to suggest what you would like them to do to solve your problem.

Your employer should discuss any disciplinary issues with you informally first. These issues could lead to formal disciplinary action, including dismissal in more serious or repetitive cases.

Right to be accompanied

You have the right to be accompanied to grievance or disciplinary meetings (and any appeals) by either a:

  • colleague or trade union representative
  • family member or Citizens Advice Bureau worker if this allowed – check your employment contract, company handbook or human resources intranet site

Formal procedures

You can make a formal grievance complaint or face formal disciplinary action if you were not able to resolve your problem informally.


You can make a formal grievance complaint if you’ve tried solving a problem by talking to your manager but you’re not satisfied.

Your employer should put their grievance procedure in writing. You should be able to find this in your:

  • company handbook
  • human resources (HR) or personnel manual
  • HR intranet site
  • employment contract

Your employer’s grievance procedure should include these steps:

  • writing a letter to your employer setting out the details of your grievance
  • a meeting with your employer to discuss the issue
  • the ability to appeal your employer’s decision

Read the Acas guide on discipline and grievances at work for more information.

Disciplinary action

You might face disciplinary action if your employer has decided they have a serious issue with you or your work.

Your employer should put their disciplinary procedure in writing and it should contain:

  • your employer’s disciplinary procedure rules
  • what performance and behaviour might lead to disciplinary action
  • what action your employer might take and your right to appeal

Read the Acas guide on discipline and grievances at work for more information.

Suspension from work

If you are facing discipline over a serious issue, your employer may be able to suspend you during the time leading up to a disciplinary meeting.

Check your employment contract, company handbook or HR intranet site to see if you’re entitled to be paid when suspended.

Using the Acas Code of Practice

The result of your claim could be affected if either you or your employer do not follow the Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures and you go to an employment tribunal.

In this situation a tribunal can adjust the amount of compensation awarded by up to 25%.



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