Why you need a grievance procedure

Grievances are something that employers will inevitably come across at some stage or another. So, having a grievance procedure in place for any employees who might feel unhappy is very important. Here's why.

There are general - and very practical reasons - as to why you need a grievance procedure:

Firstly, it helps your employees know what to do if they have a grievance. Secondly, you and your managers know how to handle them. And lastly, you can solve them so that they don't develop into full-blown disputes that will cost you time and money!

The four simple benefits to having a grievance procedure in place:

  1. You can resolve issues as soon as possible, and reducing the chances of them becoming public knowledge and denting your business.
  2. Grievance procedures can help both you and your employee achieve a satisfactory solution.
  3. If you have a large business, having a grievance procedure can save you time You can ensure that the dispute is solved at the lowest level possible, and so saving time on the part of the more senior managers.
  4. Grievance procedures can protect employees from any victimisation or inequitable treatment.

But in order to reap these benefits, you need to make sure that your grievance policies and procedures contain these 10 things:

  1. The absolute assurance to employees to employees that they are free to raise grievances.
  2. The assurance that you will protect the privacy of any employees with grievances.
  3. Set a time limit to reporting grievances so as to ensure that employees report incidences soon after they have occurred.
  4. Set out a condition that the employee sets out his/her complaint in writing. This ensures that you know exactly what the grievance is all about.
  5. Make sure that the employee also sets out what they are expecting the outcome of the grievance to be so that you know exactly what they want.
  6. Make known who the employee must first contact with regard to a grievance of theirs.
  7. Clearly set out, if necessary, all the various levels that a grievance could go through.
  8. Give a guideline indicating how long each level should take in attempting to solve a grievance.
  9. Clearly indicate the final level of attempting to solve the grievance internally.
  10. Tell the employee that if his/her grievance cannot be solved internally at the highest level, he/she is free to exercise his/her rights under the Labour Relations Act

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