Introduction to this document

Employee grievance record

It’s advisable to keep a brief summary of an employee’s grievance history on file, even if full details of any grievances have been removed because the information is now historical. Our grievance record includes the dates of grievances and grievance meetings, summaries, outcomes, actions taken and details of any appeals.

A summary sheet

When an employee raises a grievance, you will have put together a file of relevant paperwork which probably comprises the employee’s grievance letter, your notification of grievance meeting letter, copies of your investigation material, minutes of the meeting, your letter notifying the outcome of the meeting, etc. As that’s a lot of paperwork to go through if you need to refer to it again, we recommend you also transfer the pertinent details to a summary sheet. This is where our Employee Grievance Record comes in. It enables you to summarise the date that the grievance was raised, the date of the grievance meeting, what the grievance itself was about and what the outcome of it was, together with details of any appeal exercised by the employee. That way, you can see at a glance what the employee’s grievance record comprises. This is particularly useful if the employee raises further grievances at later dates and you’re trying to spot either whether the grievances may be connected to an ongoing work issue or gripe or whether there’s a propensity for the employee to be a trouble-maker.

Grievance history

One of the data protection principles in the UK GDPR states that personal data must not be kept (in a form which permits identification of the employee) for longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed. This means that once the grievance is no longer relevant to the ongoing employment relationship, e.g. months have passed since the grievance was rejected and there's been no further developments, or you've taken the necessary action in consequence of upholding the grievance, you should then remove the grievance paperwork from the employee's personnel file and permanently and securely destroy it. You should not just hang on to it for historical purposes. However, there is nothing to stop you destroying all the paperwork but using our record to briefly summarise the grievance and its outcome. This is because it could still have some future relevance, e.g. if the employee raises a further grievance relating to their employment, particularly if it's somehow connected to an earlier grievance issue.