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Responding to a personal grievance

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If a personal grievance is raised with an employer, it is important that the employer responds to the personal grievance in a well considered and strategic way.

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Responding to a personal grievance

In my experience, how an employer responds to a personal grievance claim will have an influence how far that case is taken against that employer's business. A well considered response is thoroughly important in the early stages of defending a claim.

  • Do not respond until you get sound advice.
  • Consolidate copies of relevant emails, text messages and other communications.
  • Do not consent to claims that are raised outside of the 90 day notification period.
  • Focus on the fair process and aspects of how the business dealt with the employee.
  • Highlight any serious or disgraceful misconduct or actions the employee took to contribute to their claim.
  • Consider what counter-claims may be taken against the employee.
  • Put mitigation of loss at issue.
  • Try and settle early on a "without prejudice" basis.

Defending Employers

Having spent years of taking personal grievance claims against employers for my employee clients has shaped how I manage being on the other side of the table, that is the defending of an employer from a personal grievance claim.

Unlike "no win, no fee" which is often available for the employee, the employer has to pay no matter what, whether they pay the employee to go away and pay their own costs in defending it, this can include cases that have no merit at all. It will still cost the employer no matter what.

When an employer receives a personal grievance letter it is at that point that the paper trail, facts and events of what happened will matter. This is why early, sound advice, and the employer taking the correct actions is important to not make the situation any worst than it already is.

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Last Updated: August 14, 2021 0800 WIN KIWI