Can you be dismissed for raising grievances?

20th January 2022 1 min read Chris McAvoy

Yes, held the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in the recent case of Hope v British Medical Association

In this case, the Claimant raised several grievances which could not be resolved informally. The Claimant refused to progress or withdraw his grievances and refused to attend a grievance hearing, failing to comply with reasonable management instructions. 

A grievance hearing took place in his absence and the British Medical Association concluded that the Claimant’s conduct had been vexatious. They held that his repeated initiation of grievances, absent of any intention to follow these through, and his failure to withdraw them, amounted to a misuse of process. The Claimant was subsequently dismissed for gross misconduct

The basis upon which an employer is entitled to dismiss an employee for raising grievances is very fact specific. It can be a dangerous step for an employer to take as it will often open up complaints for victimisation where employees allege discrimination within their grievance. If employees raise grievances for tactical reasons, they should be mindful of this case and ensure their complaints are genuine and they are prepared to see them through or, if not, withdraw them at an early stage. 

If you are:

  • an employee looking for advice in respect to raising a grievance in the workplace; or 
  • an employer dealing with what you consider to be a nuisance grievance, 

please get in touch with us here at People Legal

We are trained and experienced in handling all matters of employment law and can provide you with the information you need.

Call us on 0800 368 8470 or arrange a chat at for free initial advice.

Please note the information contained in this briefing is intended as a general review of the subject featured and is not a substitute for obtaining specific legal advice.