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How to write a grievance about the behaviour of a colleague, manager or supervisor

This guide shows you how to write a grievance about behaviour that you are unhappy with, which is not as serious as bullying and harassment but is causing you to have problems at work.  It helps you lay the foundations for discussions about the behaviour, whilst at the same time formalising your complaint in order to protect you position if matters do not improve. Perhaps your manager or supervisor is making you work in a way that is causing you problems within your team or you have problems with a colleague’s attitude, or capability for the job. Where the grievance is against your line manager, you should approach another manager or raise the issue with your HR department if there is one.


This Guide provides in depth direction on writing a grievance about the behaviour of a colleague, manager or supervisor. There is a difference between strong management and bullying behaviour.

ACAS describes bullying as ‘offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient’. In its Bullying and Harassment at Work Guide ACAS says that the  behaviour of employers and senior managers is as important as any formal policy. Strong management can unfortunately sometimes tip over into bullying behaviour which is not acceptable in any workplace.

In law, your employer owes you a duty of care to take reasonable steps to protect you from foreseeable harm to your physical or mental health.





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