Grievance Letter: off sick with depression and not given a pay rise - Monaco Solicitors

Grievance Letter: off sick with depression and not given a pay rise

This example concerns an employee from a large telecoms company who was on long term sick leave with depression. Whilst off sick she found that she was passed over for a pay rise. This grievance letter (and our help) resulted in a decent payout for her.

Download this grievance letter template and adapt it for use in your own UK workplace dispute. Best used if you want to leave your job with a decent settlement agreement exit package. Technically, the types of possible claims here would be constructive dismissal & disability discrimination.

Download Template

[Manager name]

[Company address]


Dear Sirs

Formal grievance

I write to set out a formal grievance, and I look forward to receiving a response as soon as possible. Please note that the information below has also been incorporated into a Disability Discrimination Questionnaire and will form part of my written submissions in relation to the capability proceedings currently in place against me.


  1. In 2014, along with my entire team at the time, I wrote a grievance about [Name] – our line manager. That grievance was upheld in that she was moved to a different section. During the grievance meeting, on around 07 August 2014, [Name]  told me that although she was moving sections, she would be putting me on a PIP. Luckily my new manager [Name] did not see fit to carry through with her threat.
  2.  In around April 2017, [Name] was transferred back in to my section as my manager again. This was a reversal of the previous decision to uphold the grievance.
  3. As a result of the stress and anxiety caused by bullying from [Name] since her reinstatement as my manager, my health deteriorated. I was signed off by my doctor with depression – an illness which is widely accepted to be protected by the Equality Act 2010 as a disability.
  4. As a result of the above, management decided to try to manage me out of the role. I was refused a payrise in my annual review in [date]. This is despite [Employer] policy guidance that I should have received a pay rise of up to 5%.
  5. In around [Date] I was sent an email telling me that my holidays had been reduced from 32.5 days to 27.5 days. But my 32.5 days holidays were specifically stated in my employment contract and [Employer] had no right to change them unilaterally.
  6. I was then openly offered a settlement agreement which contained very unfavourable terms. I was offered 6 months’ pay in lieu of notice, and only 7 days’ holiday pay. But my contract of employment provides a 6 month notice period and 32.5 days holiday p.a.. So I was being offered less than I was contractually entitled to.
  7. I was told that my employment could be terminated by letter 07 November 2017. This was the first time I had heard about this possibility. I have not attended an assessment previously, or had any warning that this could happen. I was not given a chance to improve. That letter was just sent out of the blue. Overall I feel that I have been badly mistreated, firstly as a result of the initial grievance, and secondly, as a result of my disability.
  8. I have prepared a number of questions which I believe serve to illustrate the points made above and which will help to fairly investigate my grievance. As such I would like these questions to form part of my formal grievance:-

Grievance questions

Re: grievance concerning [Name], my previous manager, of 2014 –

  1. Please state (i) all steps taken by [Employer] to investigate my grievance of around 2014, with names of people involved and dates, (ii) the reasons for the decision, (iii) anyone consulted, when and their views.
  2. Do you accept that in the grievance meeting of around 07 August 2014 [Name] told me that although she was moving teams, she would be putting me on a PIP. Do you accept that this decision of hers was reversed by my next manager [Name].
  3. In relation to the decision to ignore my grievance and reinstate [Name] in around April 2017, please state (i) who made the decision, when and for what reasons; (ii) who was consulted, when and what were their views.

Re: general

  1. Does [Employer] accept that I might have a disability under the Equality Act 2010? If not, please state precisely why not.
  2. Please state how many employees with disabilities are employed (i) in the [location] office and (ii) throughout [Employer]. In each case state their job title and nature of the disability.

Re: reasonable adjustments

  1. What adjustments did [Employer]anticipate I might need to be made for my potential disability? Please give full details.
  2. Please list all steps taken by [Employer] to make any necessary adjustments.
  3. Please state when [Name] my manager was first told, by whom and in what terms of (i) my potential disability (ii) the need for adjustments.
  4. Please state all discussions or communications (with dates, persons involved and content) between[Employer], management, HR, my previous manager [name], or anyone else regarding (i) my potential disability (ii) the necessity for adjustments (iii) my terms and conditions generally
  5. Has a stress risk assessment been carried out in relation to me and if so, when? If so, please send me a copy. Please also send me a copy of my entire HR file.
  6. Has a phased return to work plan been implemented or considered and if so when and by whom? If so, please send me a copy.

Re: threatened termination of employment

  1. Do you accept that on 07 November 2017 I was sent a letter stating: If, having considered all the evidence, it is decided to terminate your employment on grounds of capability due to ill-health you will be advised in writing and that letter will confirm your last day of employment”
  2. With regard to the decision to send that letter announcing that my employment could be terminated due to capability, please state who took the decision, on what date and for what reasons who was consulted, on what date and what were their views.
  3. Please explain why I received a letter saying that my employment could be terminated after without any warning, chance to improve, or assessment for reasonable adjustments.
  4. What affect do you think this letter would have on my health, considering that I am suffering from stress and anxiety already? Please detail any assessment which was carried out in this regard prior to sending that letter.
  5. Please explain why my contract of employment allows for sick pay of 6 months’ full pay and 6 months’ half pay, if it is standard practice to consider terminating an employee’s employment after only 6 months of being off sick.
  6. Please state the dates of absence through sickness of each other member of staff from 1st January 2017, giving
    a.     start and finish date with the Company
    b.     job title and location
    c.     the dates and nature of any disciplinary warnings received related to their attendance
    d.    whether they had a disability

Re: pay rise

  • With regard to the decision not to give me a pay-rise for 2017, please state

a.   who made the decision, on what date and for what reasons
b.   who else was consulted, on what date and what were their views
c.   what are the criteria for deciding whether a pay-rise should be granted
d.   who set these criteria and when
e.   whether they are in writing

  • Please state all staff employed in the [location] office as at November 2017, stating in each case)

a.            job title and location
b.            start date with the company
c.             if so, by how much
b.            if not, why not
c.             whether they have a disability or ill-health (with details)

Re: reduction of holiday entitlement

  1. Do you accept that on [Date] I received an email from [Name] purporting to lower my holiday entitlement from 32.5 days to 27.5 days.
  2. Why was this email sent
  3. Who was consulted prior to this email being sent.
  4. Do you accept that my contractual holiday entitlement is 32.5 days per annum.
  5. Do you accept that if [Employer] wish to terminate my employment,[Employer]  is required to give me 6 months’ notice.

In addition to the above, I would also like to request a copy of my entire HR file, and any other data which [Employer] hold in relation to me.

Yours faithfully

[Your name]

Next steps

Monaco Solicitors are happy to provide you with these letter templates and examples free of charge to aid you in your employment situation. If you would like professional legal assistance in your case, we are experts in employment law and only represent employees – never the employer.
If you would like to talk to an experienced employment solicitor about the details of your case, simply get in touch on 020 7717 5259 or apply for a apply for a free 15 minute consultation. Our lawyers will be able to assess your situation and advise how we could help you improve your settlement package.
You can also use our free Settlement Agreement Calculator to help you understand how much your case could be worth.