The Importance of a Structured Grievance Process

As an employer, you will need to understand why it is important to have structured grievance process and how this not only beneficial for your company but for your employees too.

Having a reasonable grievance procedure in the workplace can encourage a thorough, speedy and satisfactory resolution of the issues highlighted by an employee in the first instance, helping to avoid lengthy and costly potential tribunals.

What is the purpose of grievance procedure?

A grievance is a formal complaint raised by an employee to address an issue with their employment situation. Grievances are usually raised in relation to issues affecting working relationships or productivity. Once a problem is highlighted, a formal grievance complaint should be directed to a member of management or union representative for their consideration and further investigation. Problems with wages, working conditions, supervision arrangements, changes to policies, and employee/team relations are some of the most common issues raised in grievance proceedings.  

The Three Key Steps of a grievance procedure

Once an issue has been identified, employees are advised to follow the procedure to escalate their complaint formally. There should be three key steps at the core of every grievance procedure including:

  • The employee must put their grievance in writing. The letter should detail their specific concerns which may include a description of the problems, examples of problems, and dates and times of any occurrences. 
  • Once the appropriate line manager has received the letter, they should arrange a timely meeting to discuss the issues raised. This may require further investigation and reporting on the problem to reach a satisfactory resolution.
  • If the outcome of the meeting or investigation does not meet employee expectations or approval, the employee should be given the opportunity to appeal the decision.