In a recent case an employee failed to raise their personal grievance within 90 days. The Court granted them an extension due to exceptional circumstances.

An employee who has a work place problem can raise a personal grievance with their employer.  The employee must raise the grievance within 90 days of the grievance occurring, or the employee becoming aware of the grievance. 

All employment agreements must contain information about the 90-day limit to raise a grievance.

The 90-day period can be extended if the employer agrees, or if the Employment Relations Authority decides that there are exceptional circumstances and it would be just to allow an extension.  

Exceptional circumstances can include:

  • Where the employee has been so affected or traumatised by the grievance (or other circumstances) that they were unable to properly consider raising the grievance within the 90-day period;
  • Where the employee reasonably tried to have the grievance raised on their behalf by an agent, and the agent unreasonably failed to ensure that the grievance was raised within the required time;
  • Where the employee’s employment agreement does not contain the required information, including an explanation about the 90-day period to raise a personal grievance; or
  • Where the employer has failed to comply with the obligation to provide a statement of reasons for dismissal.

Recently the Employment Court considered a case where the employee raised a personal grievance out of time.  Because their employment agreement did not contain information about the 90-day time limit, the Court held that there were exceptional circumstances, justifying an extension of the time limit. 

This case highlights the importance of having an up to date employment agreement that contains all of the compulsory information. 

Read more about how to raise, or respond to, a personal grievance.

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