Workplace grievances, or staff complaints, can often occur when an employee has issues they would like to raise. This could be concerned with their role, their workplace, or another member of staff.

To keep on top of these, employers need time, care, and organised record-keeping skills.

Employers also need to ensure that employees get a fair hearing and outcome while resolving the issue as quickly as they can to avoid further disruption.

To help you through this process, we have put together a step-by-step guide on managing grievances:

  1. Check the procedure

Every company should have a formal, written grievance procedure by law.

This needs to be checked to ensure that it has the following:

  • What the grievance procedure involves
  • The expected response times for each stage
  • Who to contact if there is a concern.

Once this is confirmed, employers can begin an informal discussion with the employee.

We advise that you record the informal meetings to stay on top of complaints, actions, and reactions.

It can help you understand the issue and figure out what can be done differently next time.

2. Time to investigate

Employers need to outline how long the procedure will take and then must contact all relevant parties.

You should spend time with each member equally so they can explain their positions and provide evidence.

Once you have completed your investigations, you can inform the relevant parties and arrange a grievance hearing

3. Hold the hearing

The formal meeting offers an employee an opportunity to provide any evidence to back up their case.

Everyone must attend this meeting and employees have the right to bring a colleague or union representative.

Employers must ask how employees would like this to be resolved, what you can do to help and what outcome they are looking for.

Make sure you record these formally and send them to everyone within an agreed timeframe.

4. Make your decision

After the meeting, you need to make your decision.

You could decide to defend the staff member’s grievance in full, in part, or you could reject it.

Explain the reasons for your decision to the employee and advise them on the next steps and actions they should take.

You may have all your HR needs covered but sometimes, especially on complex cases, you can simply run out of HR staff to attend hearings and appeals!

We can manage and conduct independent, impartial investigations into disciplinary, grievance or bullying and harassment matters.

Need our help? Take action today.