It is crucial when a dispute arises that both employers and employees keep clear documentation about what happens during the course of the dispute. A failure to make a note can cost you in lost time and extra expenses, or cause your claim to be rejected.

In a recent case the Employment Relations Authority found against an employee with a personal grievance claim primarily because both the employer and employee had failed to keep a paper trail. This meant the Authority had great difficulty deciphering what had happened.

Due to this the Authority concluded that there were breaches of obligations on both sides, and the communication strategies the parties adopted were not good enough to allow them to come to a resolution. Therefore no personal grievance could be found.

If you become involved in an employment dispute we recommend:

  • Noting down the date, time and contents of any conversations you have with your employer or employee, at the time these conversations are held;
  • Making the notes and signing them at the time (not after the events);
  • Keeping copies of any letters, e-mails, medical certificates and other relevant documents that relate to the dispute;
  • Keeping a written record of anything else that relates to the dispute, for example, taking minutes at any formal meetings.

Having documentary evidence about exchanges between the parties to a dispute will greatly assist the Authority in determining what happened, and thereby increase your chances of success.

If you are involved in an employment dispute and have questions about the sorts of records you should be keeping, or anything else pertaining to the dispute, feel free to phone Alan Knowsley for a relaxed and confidential initial chat.