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Grievances and confidentiality

Do you have a grievance you want to raise with your employer against a colleague? How confidential is your employer’s disciplinary process?

Your employer must inform you, as the aggrieved employee, whether the grievance has been upheld, why it reached the decision it reached and what steps they are taking, if any, to remedy the grievance. Your employer simply has to inform you that action will be taken; there is no requirement under the law to inform you on the specifics of the action. This is to protect the confidentiality of the employee against whom the grievance has been registered.

You, as the complaining party, might worry about the repercussions of registering a grievance against a colleague; for example, what they will do if they find out it was you. Confidentiality of the employee does not necessarily extend to protect the complaining party. The employee who is the subject of the disciplinary proceedings is entitled to know the case against them in order to ensure a fair process. They must be told the important parts of the evidence in support of the case they have to meet. The employer will have to disclose some evidence and cannot refuse to do so because it is a breach of confidentiality.

For advice on employment matters please contact Duncan Brown Head of Litigation and Employment.