Post employment Grievances
In the recent case of Base Childrenswear Ltd v Otshudi, an employer was penalised for failing to follow the ACAS Code of Practice which resulted in the maximum uplift to the compensatory award of 25% as a result of the employer failing to respond to a grievance which was raised after the termination of employment.
In proceedings to which the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures applies, any unreasonable failure to follow it in respect of any disciplinary situation or any written grievance brought by an employee can lead to a 25% uplift in compensation.
The tribunal found in the claimant's favour in respect of the claims she brought and then made an uplift of 25% in respect of the breach of the ACAS Code given its failure to respond to the grievance. This case is quite alarming for employers as many grievances are submitted by former employees or grievances are raised on the final day of employment.
This case demonstrates that post-employment grievances cannot be ignored despite the fact that the ACAS Code does not specifically deal with them. The status of the post-employment grievances has been something of a grey area since the abolition of the statutory disciplinary and grievance procedures but this case makes it clear that an employer failing to deal with such a grievance faces a potential uplift in compensation. We would always advise as a minimum that a post employment grievance is acknowledged, investigated and dealt with by way of correspondence as a minimum. However, this case would seem to suggest that a former employee should be invited to a meeting in accordance with the ACAS Code.
This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.