Grievance Procedures

Advice & Considerations for Businesses
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We explore grievance procedures, if you are experiencing an issue in this area, you may find this article gives you some pointers and highlights some further action.


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Raising a Grievance

Most people will have heard of grievances but what does it mean? A grievance is essentially an expression of discontent regarding a matter concerning their employment. Bring this matter to the attention of their employer is often referred to as raising a grievance.

The issues that may lead to raising a grievance are broad, and it may be tempting to employers to regard grievances as an unnecessary distraction, which should be brought to a close as soon as possible. Whatever the circumstances, this temptation should be resisted. Raising a grievance is something that employees are entitled to do, and an employment tribunal award can be increased due to an employer’s failure to follow codes of practice on grievance and disciplinary procedures.

What then should an organisation do when faced with a situation where a grievance has been raised? A start is to have a robust grievance procedure. This document should be easily available to those working for the organisation, and should lay out who grievances should be sent to, how the information should be provided, and explain how the grievance will be handled and the different stages involved.

Having a robust grievance procedure in place will demonstrate to employees that their concerns will be taken seriously, that they will be treated fairly, and will enable those involved to have confidence in the outcome. That being so, having such a grievance procedure in place is as much for the employer’s benefit as the employee.

We are experienced in developing grievance procedures and can support organisations every step of the way, from drafting grievance procedures to attending grievance meetings as part of your team.

Next time an employee is raising a grievance don’t raise eyebrows: use it as an opportunity to show that such concerns will be dealt with in a transparent, sensitive and fair way.  In such circumstances, the employee will understand how and why decisions were made. This in turn is likely to increase the trust that the employee has in the organisation and reduce the likelihood of the individual leaving their workplace.

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