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.
How big does my business need to be before I think about HR matters?
We recently visited a rapidly growing company just taking on their sixth member of staff. The Managing Director had not experienced any problems to date, but he wanted peace of mind going forward.
This is a typical scenario. It’s possibly not until you’ve employed 3 or 4 people that you start to think that you should have some formal HR procedures in place.
If I’m asked ‘When do I need HR help?’ my answer would be “As soon as you employ one person”.
The reason for this is that every single employee should have a contract and terms and conditions of employment. In addition, there should be three or four basic HR policies in place. These would include disciplinary, absence, holiday and severe weather. There may be additional policies that are relevant to your industry or if for example you employ shift workers.