Grievance appeal letter: Changes to employment terms and conditions
This is a grievance appeal letter written by us and sent in the name of our client. He had had changes to his employment terms and conditions imposed upon him unilaterally and had been threatened with disciplinary action unless he accepted them.
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[Employee name and address]
Private & Confidential
[Company name and address]
Dear [HR Manager]
Appeal against grievance outcome dated [Date] “the Grievance Outcome”
As per my email of [date], I wish to appeal against [Decision-maker’s] findings. I set out the grounds of my appeal below.
I submitted a grievance following my deep concerns about anticipated changes to my terms and conditions of employment which will see me move from undertaking [Job Role 1] in my area of specialism to moving to a team where I will be expected to deal with [Job Role 2]. It was suggested that there will be no changes to my contract and that the changes imposed are allowed within the terms of my generic job description and my contract, which provides that there may be a variation “to the precise description of your job.”
I am aggrieved about the failure to consider [Company’s] obligations to me and to my colleagues, and consider that [Company] cannot fundamentally change my role without consent and/or appropriate consultations.
My appeal is made on the following basis:
- Appropriate standing of decision-maker
- Changes to my role
Appropriate standing of [Decision-maker] as decision-maker
At the beginning of the hearing I questioned the appropriateness of his standing as decision-maker in my grievance. I consider that because of his involvement in the redeployment of [Job Role 1] within [Company] and his day-to-day management of [Department], he did not have the necessary objectivity to make a fair, independent decision regarding the issues that fell to be determined in my grievance.
Further, in view of the seniority of the members of management involved in the decision to restructure the business and the impact that this decision has had on me and my peers, I would ask that an appeal officer is appointed who has sufficient seniority, standing and would be unfettered by involvement in the restructure. In this way any grievance officer should be able to make a reasoned and independent decision. It may follow that the appeal officer that is appointed should be an individual who is independent and with no operational connection to the business. Indeed, it may be appropriate to consider an independent third party.
- Changes to my role
I dispute the findings of the Grievance Outcome as it is evident that there has been a failure to appreciate the nature of the duties undertaken within my current role as [Job Role 1], which is part of the [name of team] team. There are fundamental changes to both nature of the work that I will undertake on a day to day basis as well as the conditions that I am expected to work under the terms of my contract of employment.
During my ten years at [Company], I have been promoted twice within a short period of time, in recognition of my superior performance and achievements in the role. My experience is well known and relied upon by my peers and third parties.
In the Grievance Outcome, it is suggested that I may have failed to fully understand the levels of complexity involved in the new role and they would be comparable to my current duties. I appreciate that there will be occasions where there will be greater complexity than a standard case, but I consider that fundamentally there has been a failure to comprehend the complexity of the work that I undertake daily and that the role that I currently understand is substantially different in complexity than the role I am expected to soon be performing. It seems to me there has been very limited appreciation of the intricacies of duties that I undertake day to day.
The Grievance Outcome notes the generic skills that a [Job Role] must have, but this fails to appreciate the clear distinction in terms of time and skill needed to fulfill these requirements within the different areas in which I work.
I typically need to review hundreds of pages of documents to determine the relevant technical issues. This will involve, for example, a lengthy fact-finding process of reviewing evidence and considering various factors and objectives. It will often take a few days to provide a fair and reasonable decision from the time I am in receipt of all relevant information.
In the circumstances, I disagree that the work that will be required of me to undertake in [Job Role 2] is not fundamentally different to the work that I have been undertaking without exception over the course of the last eight years. I consider that the Grievance Outcome in these circumstances is flawed and is a perverse finding given the relevant factual circumstances.
As I have outlined in my grievance letter and during the grievance meeting, I am deeply committed to the work that I have undertaken diligently and effectively at [Company] over ten years.
I feel deeply aggrieved that my future is uncertain. A veiled threat was made to me in the Grievance Outcome that if I do not comply with the changes imposed upon me I might face disciplinary action. I remain keen to find a resolution to this issue in such a manner that enables me to continue with my current duties or if the changes are imposed, it should be recognised that I am entitled to an appropriately calculated redundancy payment.
I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my appeal and the substantive details at a future meeting.
[Employee name and signature]