It is essential for companies to have a Grievance Policy in place so that employees know the correct procedure to follow when addressing problems or concerns regarding work, Management or another staff member. The policy should also ensure that employees can formally raise a grievance regarding any decisions or actions taken by their employer. Employees should be encouraged to make Management formally aware of situations where they feel that a policy or procedure is not being followed or applied correctly to all employees.

It is understandable and acceptable that when people work together misunderstandings, concerns or problems can arise. Companies should implement a culture of openness as well as a willingness to listen and co-operate. The hope here is that issues/misunderstandings can be resolved informally in an efficient and an effective manner. However, where such issues
remain unresolved they can become grievances. Employees should be encouraged to seek resolution of an issue by utilising the Company’s Grievance Procedure.

Sample Grievance Procedure

1)     Staff should approach their Manager in the first instance to arrange a meeting to discuss, and attempt to resolve, the problem/concern. (See point 4 below for procedure when the grievance involves the Manager). The employee should be asked to document their grievance in writing. This is very important.

2)     The employee should be allowed to have a colleague (of their choice) accompany them at the meeting for support purposes.

3)      The issue should be discussed in detail and a reasonable timeframe for resolution should be worked out (1 working week is a reasonable timeframe in most instances).

4)      If the employee is not satisfied with the outcomeafter the relevant time has elapsed, he or she should appeal to the General Manager. If the initial grievance relates to an employee’s direct Manager then he or she should skip directly to this stage.

5)     The problem/grievance should be discussed in detail once again with the General Manager and a reasonable timeframe for resolution should again be given (typically 1 working week is sufficient; this timeframe may vary depending on the severity of the issue/type of complaint).

6)     If the employee is dissatisfied with the outcome of the final stage of the procedure then further recourse should be made available and the employee should be made aware that he or she can request a meeting with a Company Director.

7)     The issue should be discussed for a third time and a reasonable timeframe for resolution given (again, depending on the severity of the issue, 5 working days should be sufficient).

8)     The decision, following the exhaustion of the entire process outlines above, should be final and no further Company appeal need be entertained.

9)     If the employee is still unhappy with the outcome he or she should then choose to seek recourse through external bodies.

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