Appeals are part of the grievance and disciplinary process. Whether you appeal a decision or want to take alternative action, we are the specialists you will give you frank advice on your options and support you in what you decide to do.
What is my right to appeal?
You have a right to appeal against a decision made at a disciplinary or grievance hearing if you believe it to be unfair. As part of the process, your employer ought to inform you of this right along with the time limit for lodging your appeal (usually 5 working days from the original decision). You will usually need to make the request in writing, and set out the reasons why the decision was wrong. The appeal may involve a reinvestigation or a re-hearing of the disciplinary meeting.
What you say and how you say it will make a huge difference to what happens next: changing the decision, or putting yourself in the best position to succeed at Tribunal or negotiating a good settlement.
Most employers will allow you to appeal if you are dismissed because of redundancy.
What is my employer meant to do?
Your appeal should be dealt with by your employer as soon as reasonably practicable, and ideally, by someone who was not involved in the original decision – to maintain impartiality. You are entitled to reasonable notice of the timing and venue for the appeal meeting.
Your employer must allow a work colleague or union representative to accompany you to the appeal meeting if you reasonably request it. You could bring a Tribunal claim if they unreasonably refuse.
If you would prefer not to attend the hearing, your employer may be prepared to deal with your appeal ‘on paper’. However you would lose the opportunity to question your employer. The grounds of your appeal are even more important here as it is your last chance to put your case.
You should be informed of the outcome of the appeal as soon as possible. It is unlikely that this will be immediately after the hearing, and you can usually expect a decision to be reached within a few days. This will usually be in writing.
Should I appeal?
Generally, yes. But there are times when it is better not to. Talk to us before you decide.
Many of our clients want to appeal because they wish to continue working for their employer, and feel hurt about the way they were treated, or that their grievance has not been properly addressed.
If you want to be reinstated, then it certainly makes sense to appeal. We will help give your appeal the best chance of succeeding.
What if I don’t want to go back?
If you have no intention of returning to work for your employer – perhaps because you no longer have trust and confidence in them to treat you reasonably, then we can advise you on what the best tactics are for you. A successful appeal in these circumstances could work against you and will also reduce your chances of winning a Tribunal claim later on.
Even if you don’t want to go back to work, it can still be a good idea to appeal. How you appeal, and what you say is vital – as is the timing of negotiations. There is a greater incentive for your employer to reach a settlement immediately after they have been notified of the appeal, but before it is heard. Your employer would avoid the time and expense in dealing with the process. Often, negotiations can lead to a Settlement Agreement.
There is also the benefit of a clear paper-trail which can add weight to an Employment Tribunal claim later on.
It’s too late for me to appeal. Can I still bring a claim?
Yes. It is no longer the law that you have to appeal before bringing a claim.
However, not appealing your dismissal can affect the compensation that you are awarded at Tribunal. A Tribunal has a discretion to reduce your damages by up to 25% if you do not appeal when it would have been reasonable to have done so. If you can show a good reason why you did not appeal (perhaps there was little point because the relationship was beyond repair), then the reduction could be minimal or none at all. It is important that you seek advice as early in the process as possible.
Should I appeal a grievance decision?
Yes. If you are unhappy with your employer’s decision and want to remain with them.
If, however, the relationship is beyond repair, then there may be little point in appealing and you could simply resign and move on. Alternatively, you may consider making a claim for constructive dismissal. We can help negotiate your exit from the business on the best possible terms – often by way of a Settlement Agreement as an alternative to Tribunal proceedings.
Are many appeals upheld?
Sadly not. It is rare for an employer to change their mind even where any reasonable person could see the employer made the wrong decision. It is hard for some employers to admit they made a mistake. We are happy to discuss tactics with you.
What do I do now?
This is where we come in. Employment law is all we do.
It can often feel like your employer holds all the power. They will likely have experienced HR professionals or a solicitor working in the background. That’s why you need the best support and advice available. You need a specialist employment lawyer – one who will push for the best outcome for you.
We understand how it feels. We have helped hundreds of employees and because we act for businesses too, we know the tactics you’re likely to face from your employer. We know every trick in the book.
We will advise you of your options and how best to proceed – whether you want to return to work or would like us to negotiate an exit on your behalf.
You only have a limited amount of time to take action to preserve your employment rights – usually just three months (less one day) from the date of the last act of discrimination or when your employment ends, to bring a claim. The appeals process does not extend how long you have.
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