All employers are required to offer a formal grievance procedure to enable employees raise matters of concern in the workplace. In this case the employee raised a grievance as he felt he had been unfairly dealt with and misled in respect of a promotion opportunity and had been prevented from applying for other roles for the benefit of his employer. The employee further claimed that the grievance he subsequently raised in respect of the promotion issue had not been resolved despite over fourteen months elapsing since he raised the grievance.
Labour Court accepted the employer's position that they had legitimately not allowed the employee to apply for internal roles as his position was in scope for transfer with part of the business. However, they also determined that there was an inordinate and unjustified delay in dealing with the related grievance that was raised and that if the internal grievance procedure had operated within a reasonable time frame, potentially the employee's issues could have been addressed to his satisfaction. The Court recommended compensation in the amount of €2,000.
Whilst the compensation awarded was not significant it could have been avoided. The lesson from this case is that employers should always follow the timelines outlined in their grievance procedures and at a more practical level dealing with matters promptly can often bring a satisfactory solution for all before positions become further entrenched on issues.