Letter to HR Informing Them of a Dispute
From time to time disagreements may arise in the workplace. Quite often, they can result from a misunderstanding or for some other minor reason and can be resolved between the relevant parties quite amicably. However, in more serious instances, the disagreement may be too severe to resolve without the help of an independent intermediary. Serious issues can include any number of reasons but some of the most common instances include cases where there are differences of opinion concerning issues such as perceived sexual harassment, bullying, unfair dismissal or unfair disciplinary action.
For whatever the reason the dispute arises, if it can’t be resolved easily and, especially in places of work where there is no trade union representative, it may well be necessary to approach a member of the HR department. Even if you know the member of staff well, it is always vital that you put any grievance you may have in writing, including the dates and times that the incident arose as this may help your case if HR still cannot resolve the dispute and it progresses to an industrial tribunal where written evidence will be crucial in determining the outcome and any resolution.
In most workplaces, you will have been given information, perhaps in the form of a handbook when you started working there, which will fully outline the steps you should take if you have a dispute. This is called a grievance procedure. Many grievance procedures will be similar but it is important to follow this before you get to the letter writing stage.
How to Write a Letter to HROnce you have decided that you have been unable to resolve the dispute amicably, then there are certain things to include in your letter to HR. You should firstly state what your grievance is, who it is with, the date and approximate time when the situation first arose and what you have tried to do informally to resolve it and what the outcome of that was. It is perfectly acceptable to state how the incident made you feel but you should not try to criticise or attack the person who you have a grievance about in writing and you should maintain a professional tone throughout.
Finally, you should state how you would like your employer to try to resolve the situation. It is not a good idea to mention the possibility of escalating the problem towards a possible tribunal situation as this sounds quite threatening. Most of the time, the HR department will be able to resolve the situation internally and, anyway, they are fully aware of the possible consequences of an escalation of the dispute, should they also fail to help in solving the problem.
Basically, your tone should be calm but firm and factual. It is perfectly acceptable to address the recipient of the letter by their first name but if you don’t know them too well, a more formal address would be better.