Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Guidance

Grievances

When have you notified an employer of a grievance? Employment tribunals have been trying to apply the Discipline and Grievance Procedures which generally require a formal grievance to have been presented to an employer before access is given to tribunal.

Although one tribunal is not bound by the decisions of another, we are beginning to get a reasonable feel for what is going to be allowed and a recent employment appeals tribunal has confirmed the broad drift.

A general letter of complaint about life in general does not seem to count. However, a letter complaining of a specific issue, a solicitor's letter to the same effect, or a resignation letter mentioning a specific issue have all been seen as constituting a statement of a grievance.

A formal statement of grievance, therefore does not have to say, "I am raising a grievance." This can be implied from a letter drawing attention to a particular issue.

The moral, says one legal guide, is, "Read your correspondence carefully."

Pregnancy related illness

The European Court of Justice has distinguished between pregnancy and pregnancy related illness in terms of deduction of pay. It remains unlawful to deduct pay for pregnancy per se; but it is lawful to deduct pay for illness, even when that illness is pregnancy related.

The court makes the point, however, that the deduction should not be so great that it undermines the protection that European Law gives to pregnant women.

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