A personal grievance can be raised on one of these grounds:

  • Unjustified dismissal;
  • Sexual or racial harassment;
  • Duress due to union membership or activity;
  • Dismissal or disadvantaged in retaliation for some action taken in relation to a health and safety issue;
  • Discrimination;
  • Unjustified disadvantage suffered in terms of:
  • Entitlement in an employment agreement;
  • Not recording agreed work hours in writing;
  • Breaching rules around zero hour contracts;
  • Turning down work when the employee did not have a valid availability clause in their employment agreement;
  • Breaching the rule around cancelling shifts; or
  • Unreasonably preventing an employee from also working for other employers.

A personal grievance must be raised with the employer within 90 days after the event or action that led to the personal grievance, or within 90 days after the employee became aware of the event or action, unless the employer agrees or the Employment Relations Authority allows it.  There must be exceptional circumstances, and it must be ‘just’ to allow it.

A personal grievance does not have to be made in writing, but it is recommended to do so. 

The grievance should include the nature of the grievance, the relevant facts, and what you want done in order to remedy it.

Alan Knowsley