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What is a personal grievance?

A personal grievance is a type of complaint that an employee may bring against a current or former employer.

Employees, including those in a triangular employment situation, can bring a personal grievance for the following complaints:

  • Unjustifiable dismissal (unless the dismissal took place while the employee was on a valid 90 day trial period)
  • Unjustifiable action which disadvantages the employee
  • Discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Racial harassment
  • Duress over membership of a union or other employee organisation
  • An employer’s failure to comply with obligations relating to continuity of employment for employees affected by restructuring
  • Disadvantage to an employee due to the employment agreement not meeting legal requirements for:
    • agreed hours of work
    • availability provisions
    • reasonable notice periods to be given before cancellation of a shift
    • reasonable compensation to be paid if a shift is cancelled
    • secondary employment provisions.
  • Unfair treatment of an employee who has lawfully refused work in certain circumstances
  • Where an employer engages in adverse conduct for a prohibited health and safety reason in relation to an employee or tries to force or persuade an employee not to perform a function, exercise a power or undertake a role under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
  • Where an employer, or former employer, takes retaliatory action against an employee who has made a protected disclosure of information
  • Where an employer does not agree to protecting an employee’s employment while the employee in participating in Reserve Forces service or training
  • Where an employer compels a shop employee to work on Easter Sunday or treats a shop employee adversely because they refuse to work on Easter Sunday.

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Page last revised: 28 June 2020

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