Let's start with the context: I am working in the company which is a child/daughter company to a bigger company. I had a formal complaint raised against me by my co-worker. Grievance investigation has been started and it's being handled by the mother/parent company as it appears my "child" company doesn't have proper HR. All HR related things are handled by HR which is located in different office and usually we sort formalities via email (parental leave and ect.).

The employee who raised formal complaint about me firstly tried to do it in our child company via Head of People who later redirected him to parental companies HR. Sadly that didn't stop there.

Now Head of people in child company is openly speaking about the raised grievance with people who are not really related to a case such as: my other co-workers or other employees whos positions are absolutely unrelated. On top of that child companies leadership is also aware about grievance and there was a case where our Chief Marketing Officer said a sentence like this publicly: "We know that there are people within the company who shouldn't be there, but dealing with them is a slow process because it has to be fair".

I am also aware of few cases where the person who raised a grievance did talk about it to other co-workers passing his allegations and the information about the case to them.

At this point almost everyone in child company is aware about the grievance. People who don't know me and haven't worked with me look at me as a monster, it got so bad, so out of hand that I stopped coming to office and started working from home. Which was agreed with my line manager who knows the situation.

I had my interview in grievance investigation with a representative of parental companies assigned investigator just now (after months waiting). I was assured that everything should be absolutely confidential and that this is a case of confidentiality breach in my child company, investigator said sorry to me and promised to make sure to raise it along the original grievance.

Anyone been in similar situation? What steps should I do in this situation if any, regarding the confidentiality breach? Is there any law related people here who could provide their point of view of whole situation?

Sorry for my grammar and any mistakes I made - English is not my mother tongue. Thanks

EDIT: Country is United Kingdom and if it helps, my current position is a Senior Software Engineer.

  • 4
    Individual's rights, protections, and recourses vary greatly depending on location and jurisdiction. Nobody here can venture even a useful remark until we know what country you're in. Oct 3, 2019 at 0:53
  • Sorry for missing it. The country is United Kingdom.
    – Slimanau
    Oct 3, 2019 at 0:56
  • 2
    Sounds to me like you should file a grievance for the breach of confidence - but you may want to talk to a lawyer or Citizens Advice Bureau
    – HorusKol
    Oct 3, 2019 at 4:22
  • 3
    I have no idea about your counter grievance, but it sounds like you may be on your way out. Based on "We know that there are people within the company who shouldn't be there, but dealing with them is a slow process because it has to be fair", you should use the time to find a new position.
    – user25792
    Oct 3, 2019 at 6:08
  • 3
    What @jww said. Even if your name gets officially cleared, do you really want to ever set foot into that place again?
    – Dirk
    Oct 3, 2019 at 9:32

3 Answers 3


In my previous role part of my duties was to deal with the administration of grievance and disciplinary matters. The details of these were always kept confidential on a "need to know" basis and were certainly not a subject for office discussion.

The details should not have been leaked.

I would suggest you contact ACAS (https://www.acas.org.uk) for further advice. ACAS provide free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law in the UK.

On checking on confidentiality on the ACAS website the need to keep personal details and the details of a grievance confidential is mentioned a couple of times:


All this said, the damage may have already been done and as Moo said in their answer it is now a hostile working environment. It may be that even if the grievance against you is overturned the gossip and damage to your reputation could remain.


While you may not have any case here on the grounds of confidentiality, what does seem to have arisen is the fact that you now face a hostile working environment, and that in itself can give you leverage with your employer - either to sort it out and remedy the hostility, or by coming to a mutually beneficial agreement to end employment (with associated recompense for your cooperation).

I would sit down with a specialist employment lawyer and discuss your situation, because it sounds like you might have a case to make against your employer.


Not serious at all. There's really no implied confidence for those sort of things. Approaching this situation as if somehow other party is guilty will get you nowhere, and only fired faster.

You can then try for wrongful termination suit, but most likely it'll fail.

It's hard to say what your original offensse was - but in reality life is not fair.

My best advice for situation like this is to go and the manager, tell them you see the writing on a wall, and working situation became unbearable, you're willing to accept the severance package and good recommendation. Then leave peacefully if they cancel the investigation.

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