I think I speak for most employees when I say that we want things to be simple. We want to find a job we love, with people we like to work with, doing something that adds value or brings us joy.
However, sometimes it’s not that simple. For whatever reason, things can get complicated.
Sometimes this complication can end up with us losing our job or with us making the decision to move on.
Not every ending equals a grievance though.
So how do you know if you have a grievance?
As a starting point, there are some pretty general guidelines that can help you determine if you might have a grievance. Take a look at the questions and answers below. If they sound like your situation it may definitely be worth giving us a call.
1. Termination of your employment – Dismissal:
– Did your employer follow a process (i.e. give you a letter outlining their concerns, allow you to bring a support person to the meeting, outline their concerns and give you an opportunity to present your version of events, take enough time to consider all the information before making a decision) to get to the decision to terminate your employment?
If they didn’t do these things, you might have grounds for a grievance. (There is some flexibility around small employers who may not understand all of their obligations under the law, but we can talk you through this.)
2. Termination under a 90-day trial provision:
– Did your employer meet all of their obligations in relation to your employment agreement (i.e. did they make you aware of the 90-day trial provision in your agreement, does the clause in your agreement comply with the requirements under the law)?
We find that more often than not employers are breaching their obligations in relation to how they treat their employees when there is a 90-day trial provision in the agreement. There’s a good chance that your termination may be unjustified if the provision in your agreement is found to be invalid. We can have a look at your employment agreement and talk you through a potential course of action.
3. Suffering disadvantage in your employment:
– Are you being treated differently because you’re an immigrant?
– Have you been threatened or forced to work in a way that you don’t think is right or breaches the terms of your visa?
– Are you being paid for all the hours you work?
– Did you get the right training and tools to do the job you’re being asked to do?
– Is your employer communicative with you?
There are a number of ways that you may have suffered disadvantage in the workplace. We can talk through your particular situation and help work out if you have the grounds for a grievance.
– Did your employer provide a clear and supported rationale for the decision to disestablish your role?
While business’ do have the right the restructure they need to ensure that they do it in a way that is fair and reasonable. That means that they need to provide enough information to support their proposal and the restructure needs to be for genuine business reasons (it can’t be to get rid of a problem employee!). If you don’t think the restructure completed by your employer was genuine it would be worth giving us a call.
5. No option but to resign:
– Was there something happening in your workplace that made you uncomfortable, made you not feel safe or for any other reason where you believe that you might not have any other option to resign. This may include being bullied, being asked to perform work that is unsafe or that you’re not trained to do or because you’ve been threatened while at work. (Please note that this does not include your employer requiring you to participate in performance improvement processes – if they’ve identified that there are performance concerns, or your is employer taking you through a disciplinary process because there has been an issue at work.)
– Did your employer tell you that if you didn’t resign that you would be fired?
Constructive dismissal is difficult – but not impossible. If you have a concern at work and you’ve raised your concerns with your employer and they have chosen not to do anything to resolve your concerns, you may have the grounds for a constructive dismissal claim.
6. Just need some advice and support?
We don’t just work with employees who want to raise personal grievance claims with their employers.
We can also advocate for employees in meetings and provide advice in regards to all employment matters.
The best place to start is with a phone call – call us on 0800 669 466 to see if we can help you. Or complete our Contact Form.