Managing grievances in your business

This month we’ve had to manage a grievance on behalf of a client.

It is of the utmost importance that grievances, whether they be verbal or in writing, are dealt with as soon as possible. An early resolution is the objective, avoiding a lengthy situation that could end in a costly tribunal. Addressing the grievance swiftly and in accordance with the correct procedure will reduce the stress for all parties concerned.

A Grievance Procedure is a legal requirement

It is a legal requirement that all businesses have a grievance procedure, this ensures that all employees are treated fairly. Should the dispute go to tribunal the employer will able to demonstrate that the correct procedure has been followed.

If an employee states they are resigning because of something negative, then this should also be followed up formally following the grievance procedure.

Handling grievances

The company hand book, that all employees should have access to, will inform your employees of the formal route they can follow should they have a grievance. The grievance procedure will include:

1. All stages of the ACAS Code as well as other company procedures
2. Who to raise the complaint to and who can support them
3. The timescales for dealing with the complaint
4. The stages of the grievance procedure, for example how a complaint may be raised with the next level of management     if a satisfactory resolution isn’t reached
5. Your employee has the right to be accompanied to grievance hearings by a colleague.

We’ve already mentioned the importance of nipping the grievance in the bud, but which is the most appropriate approach; informal or formal? It this short ACAS video their advisor explains the options.

If it is the employer that has the grievance this is most likely to form part of a disciplinary process. Check out our article Disciplinary Procedure: What you should and shouldn’t do.

As in the case that we’ve been dealing with it’s often easier and swifter that an intermediary is involved in getting to the root of the issue. We can ensure the emotions do not get in the way of finding a swift solution as well as draw up a plan that is acceptable to both parties to monitor the situation over the coming months.

If a grievance procedure does not feature in your company handbook, please give us a call on 01737 336 336 or email so that we can provide you with the required documentation.