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Writing a grievance letter
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# 1
Noospheric
Old 12-08-2009, 8:55 AM
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Default Writing a grievance letter

Hi,

I have had several issues at work (which can be read on the forum) and I am planning on writing a grievance letter as no informal attempts at resolving the issues have had any response other than false promises.

My issues are the following:

  • No payslips at the end of each month
  • No p60 at the end of the year
  • Constantly late pay which has amounted to a large sum
  • I was told my pay has been worked out wrong so what I believe I am owed is incorrect - I have had no written notification of this despite asking
Honestly, I want to leave this job as soon as possible but I am not sure how to go ahead with resolving this formally.

Should my grievance letter contain all of the above issues or should I try to get them resolved seperately?

Ideally, I wanted to just have to write a grievance letter about my pay being late and my p60 but recently I was told that last year I was being overpaid and this year I've been underpaid. In my greivance letter I can't even be certain of what I'm apparently owed, but only what I think I am owed. I'd like to make it clear about the amount though incase it goes any further than the grievance letter.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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# 2
Horace
Old 12-08-2009, 9:23 AM
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Has your employer provided you with a copy of the grievance procedure? they have to have one its the law.

I would write something like this:

Dear X

I am writing to raise a formal grievance regarding my employment as the company has failed in its duties on various issues outlined below:

failure to provide monthly payslips
failure to provide a P60 at the end of the tax year
Constantly paying me late
No written notification about my pay - I was advised that i had been overpaid and now I think I have been underpaid by x
Failure to respond to my requests to resolve this matter.

I would be grateful if you could address these issues as a matter of urgency.

Yours sincerely (faithfully if you are doing a dear sir letter)


Also I would be speaking to acas - as they will be able to tell you your rights www.acas.org.uk, if you haven't received payslips or P60s then you should be talking to the HMRC - it maybe that your employer hasnt been paying tax or national insurance which is why you havent received a P60 or any payslips. The onus won't be on you to pay these deductions - that is down to the employer.

Good luck.
Semper in faeces profundum variat
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# 3
AlisonCVS
Old 12-08-2009, 9:47 AM
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What an appalling employer!

you should have a contract which states all terms and conditions of your post. But even if there is nothing explicit in your contract, there is an implicit contract that you will be paid correctly and on time. From what you say you definitely have a case for grievance as they are in breach of contract.

As from what you say employer has failed to fulfil a whole range of statutory and implied terms ( failure to pay for work done, breach of trust and confidence and probably a whole lot more) they are in breach of both the agreed terms and conditions (implied as being agreed by the "custom and practice" of the work and work patterns carried out), and these are "automatic" obligations, so in law they are in breach of contract, irrespective of any written "contract" having been provided.


In such cases Tribunals can (and frequently do) specify what terms they believe appertained to the employment, irrespective of what may or may not have been written down.


You can put all grievances in one letter.

Are you the only person being treated this way? If not discimination also comes into play. If other are being treated the same then maybe a group grievance is somthing to consider.

It is always best to try to sort these things out informally first as it can lead to bad feelings later. but sometimes this is not possible.

If the grievance is formal the employer has 28 days to respond although it is good practice to respond more quickly and most employers have something like 5 or 10 days in their policy (you will want to read their disciplinary and grievance procedures and ensure it has been updated as the laws changed this year April 2009)

If the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved you can complete an ET1 form and go to tribunal.

Hope this helps
Alison

further info below and also go to the ACAS website.

Breach of Contract

An employment contract is a legally binding document containing a set of terms and conditions that both employee and employer have agreed to. This agreement does not have to be a written one but can also be a verbal contract.


The breach of contract will occur if either employer or employee breaks one of the terms or conditions of the employment contract. For example, failure to undertake agreed work by the employee or failure of the employer to pay agreed wages could both be classed as breach of contract.

The Grievance Procedure identifies grievances as official complaints covering issues such as: pay and conditions and management decisions. grievances cannot be dismissed by the employer, grievances should include an individual hearing and the right of appeal.

In relation to pay issues the most likely claim with be under the Equal Pay Act 1970 (might have to be gender related though). Time limits for making an application to an employment tribunal to claim equal pay run from six months from the last day of employment. There is no time limit on an equal pay claim while employees remain in the employment they are complaining about. Compensation can be backdated for up to six years from the date of the claim.
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Last edited by AlisonCVS; 12-08-2009 at 10:15 AM.
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# 4
AlisonCVS
Old 12-08-2009, 10:05 AM
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[QUOTE= if you haven't received payslips or P60s then you should be talking to the HMRC - it maybe that your employer hasnt been paying tax or national insurance which is why you havent received a P60 or any payslips. The onus won't be on you to pay these deductions - that is down to the employer.

Good luck.[/QUOTE]


Oooh good point Horace, the employer would certainly be in hot water!
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# 5
AlisonCVS
Old 12-08-2009, 10:09 AM
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Also forgot to say - always a good idea to keep a diary of all events pertaining to this matter as a diary is admissible evidence. you are also entitled at all stages to have a witness present.

good idea to quote the relevant laws as this shows them you know what you are talking about eg equal pay law that i mentioned. you say you have several issues, what are the others, I can quote you the relevant laws, pertaining to them where appropriate.

A
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Last edited by AlisonCVS; 12-08-2009 at 10:12 AM.
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# 6
AlisonCVS
Old 12-08-2009, 10:27 AM
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Found this piece of info for you too.





Rights of Employees - deductions from and non-payment of wages


Summary of the law
Normally, employees have the right to be paid their full wages as agreed under their contract of employment. Employers may not deduct or refuse to pay part or all of an employee’s ‘wages’, unless they have the authority to do so. If an employer unlawfully deducts or fails to pay an employee’s wages, the employee may bring a claim to recover the amount deducted / due.

When can an employer deduct or refuse to pay an employee’s ‘wages’?
Your employer may deduct or refuse to pay your ‘wages’ only if: (i) the law allows him to do so. For example, you are not entitled to be paid for days when you were on strike. Or, your employer may have to deduct your wages following a court order (an ‘attachment of earnings’ order); or (ii) your contract of employment allows him to make the deduction. For example, it has a clause which authorises deductions from wages or non-payment of earned bonus / commission after the end of the employment. The contractual term must itself be lawful; or (iii) you agreed in writing to the deduction before the event which led to it. Special rules apply to deductions from / non-payment of wages of employees who work in retail (ie sale of goods, services and financial services).

What are ‘wages’?
Wages include your basic pay, fees, bonus, commission, holiday pay and any other payment which is made in reference to your employment; sick pay; maternity pay; suspension payment on maternity grounds; guarantee payments and payments following an order for reinstatement or re-engagement. Wages exclude the following payments: loans and advances from your employer; repayment of work-related expenses; benefits in kind which are not vouchers or stamps; pension payments; redundancy payments; any other payment which is not related to your work for your employer.

Taking action
If you believe that your wages were unlawfully deducted / not paid, speak to your employer. If necessary, make a written complaint / issue a formal grievance. Most employers want to comply with the law. So, a change should take place. If nothing happens, and you are a union member, see if it can help. If you want to recover the money which was deducted / not paid, you could bring legal action. You should take full legal advice first. Most complaints will be heard at the employment tribunal which is local to where you work(ed). You must make sure that your claim arrives at the tribunal within 3 months. This begins from the date of the deduction / non-payment (or, if you resigned, the ‘effective date of termination’. This is normally your last day at work). Only in truly exceptional circumstances will the tribunal allow you to make a later complaint. If your claim is successful, the tribunal is likely to say that your employer acted unlawfully. It is also likely to order your employer to repay the amount deducted or pay the amount he owes you. If you resigned and can claim ‘constructive dismissal’, you are likely to recover additional compensation.

Legal provisions
Sections 13-27, Employment Rights Act 1996
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# 7
Noospheric
Old 12-08-2009, 10:35 AM
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Thankyou, I very much appreciate your detailed replies.

This is a small company, I am the only employee.

I have never had a written contract (again I asked and asked) and I really doubt they have any terms and conditions. I've never recieved paperwork/a handbook and there's no intranet.

At what point should I speak to HMRC? I am 99.9% certain that my taxes and NI aren't being paid but what procedure do HMRC take? I've told them again and again informally that I want these matters to be dealt with but I don't want HMRC to be involved until I've told them formally in a letter. Would me speaking to HMRC be a case of whistle-blowing or would they approach my employer in a different way?

I have spoken to citizen's advise about this and they made me aware of the grievance procedure. After a long chat about the company and its setup I was a bit scared off from the process though as if I follow through to a tribunal I will most likely have to write off the money I am owed due to the company not having enough to pay me or them having enough property if bailiffs are involved.

Thanks again.
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# 8
Noospheric
Old 12-08-2009, 10:39 AM
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This is another concern that worries me:

"You must make sure that your claim arrives at the tribunal within 3 months"

I was told this at citizen's advice. I get paid by the company pretty much whenever they can but it's never what it should be.

My wages end up around 3 months behind constantly. When they do pay me a months wages, is it for the one 3 months ago or for the present month and the rest of the owed amount just becomes an older debt?
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# 9
jazzyman01
Old 12-08-2009, 12:35 PM
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In your grievance letter I would include what you think you are owed.

When you attend your meeting in regard to your issues, raise the matter of a contract of employment and get agreement to payment of your outstanding wages - within 14 days - (details of what is oustanding you should have prepared in advance). Also ensure that your contract has the date on which you will be paid ie on or before 25 of each month.
You should take notes - if you do not get your full payment - apply to tribunal. If they are not paying tax/NI and, given the sporadic payments this is likely, you could whistle blow - you would be protected under employment law.
Your concern about not getting any payment owed to you because of it being a small business is a worry - but working for nothing and hoping to get paid is surely much worse.
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# 10
AlisonCVS
Old 12-08-2009, 5:43 PM
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It sounds to me as if your employer is breaking so many employment laws its untrue! At the end of the day anyone who employs another person has to abide by the law. The law exists to protect you. you cannot afford to not be paid for the work you do so you will have to take action. If by asking nicely nothing is being done you will have to take action and go through the grievance procedure. This can be done "nicely" by just letting the employer know that there are laws and ask him is he aware of what these laws are? That you could go to tribunal and he could be liable to pay out a lot of money if he does not abide by these employment laws. There are lots of websites that tell you about the laws of employment. Ignorance on his part is no defence in a court of law.

Employee’s right to written details about the employment contract

All employees, regardless of the number of hours they work per week, are entitled to receive a written statement from their employer within two months of starting work. The statement should describe the main terms of the contract of employment. You are entitled to the statement even if your job finishes before the initial two months, as long as the job was supposed to last for more than one month and you have worked for at least a month.
An employee who wants a written statement may request one verbally or in writing. It is usually best to request the statement in writing and keep a copy of the letter, so that you can prove you asked for the statement.
What written details must be given


The written statement must include by law:
  • the names of you and your employer
  • the date you started work
  • the amount of pay and how often you will be paid, for example, weekly or monthly
  • the hours of work
  • your holiday entitlement, including how many days off you are entitled to and what your holiday pay will be, if any
  • how much warning (notice) you are entitled to if you are dismissed and how much warning you must give the employer if you want to leave the job
  • the title of the job
  • where the job is based, for example, whether you will have to work in more than one location
  • what the disciplinary, dismissal and grievance procedures are in the workplace
  • what sick pay you are entitled to
  • whether you can join the employer’s occupational pension scheme, if there is one.
The above information does not have to be included in the written statement of terms and conditions. It can be given in, for example, a staff handbook which all the employees can have access to.
An employer may try to dismiss you for asking for the written terms and conditions of your job, even though you are entitled to this information by law.
How the rights in the employee’s contract relate to rights in law


Most employees have rights given by law. These are called statutory rights. They are in addition to any rights you have under your employment contract. Statutory rights which you may have include:
  • a right to a written statement of the terms of employment
  • a right to an itemised pay statement
  • a right to maternity leave
  • a right to pay in compensation for being made redundant
  • a right not to be unfairly dismissed.
Illegal contracts of employment


You will have an illegal contract of employment if:
  • you get all or part of your wages paid cash in hand; and
  • tax and national insurance contributions are not paid on the wages when they should have been; and
  • you knew you were being paid in this way to avoid paying tax and/or national insurance contributions.
A contract will also be illegal if it is for an immoral or illegal act.
A contract of employment will not be illegal if only one of the parties is not declaring the payments and/or making appropriate deductions.
If a contract tries to take away your statutory rights, it is not an illegal contract but it cannot be legally enforced
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Last edited by AlisonCVS; 12-08-2009 at 5:46 PM.
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# 11
AlisonCVS
Old 12-08-2009, 5:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noospheric View Post
This is another concern that worries me:

"You must make sure that your claim arrives at the tribunal within 3 months"

I was told this at citizen's advice. I get paid by the company pretty much whenever they can but it's never what it should be.

My wages end up around 3 months behind constantly. When they do pay me a months wages, is it for the one 3 months ago or for the present month and the rest of the owed amount just becomes an older debt?
see this website for info on tribunals

http://www.employmenttribunals.gov.uk/
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# 12
ohreally
Old 12-08-2009, 7:40 PM
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Employment Rights Act 1996 section 8...
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1996...2#pt1-pb2-l1g8
Imagination is a mental faculty that serves as a coping mechanism for those who can't or won't accept reality - unicorns and dragons and wives who don't nag, are all figments of the "imagination".
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