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Employee grievance procedure

If you have a grievance of any sort at work what should you do? Who do you raise it with and what are your chances of ensuring that the matter is taken care of to your satisfaction? Grievances are any problems, concerns or other matters that you may have related to your work, the conditions worked in or relations with other staff members.

It is always preferable if these matters can be dealt with and resolved to the satisfaction of both parties. However, if this is not possible, then the firm should have a formal procedure in place to deal with those cases which are not able to be resolved in other ways. This will allow the firm to give reasonable consideration to any outstanding grievances and hopefully then deal with them in a fair and consistent way. For the employee though, taking the matter from an informal to a formal status should be regarded as a last resort rather than the first place to look when they have a grievance.

Points for both employer and employee to be aware of:

  • Employees should let their employer know about the grievance and the nature of it as soon as possible.
  • It should try and be sorted out informally if at all possible.
  • A formal meeting, if required, should be arranged as soon as possible to look into the matter thoroughly.
  • The employer should allow the employee to have someone with them at a formal meeting and the employee should have the right to appeal against any formal decision made.
  • The procedure should be recorded in writing and staff should subsequently be made aware of any policy or procedure which would mean an alteration to the working practices.

Formal procedure

Use the company’s formal procedure for grievances which should be found either in the terms of contract, the company’s handbook if applicable or its human resources department.