Alternative Dispute Resolution

Dealing with Grievances

Dealing with grievances can be difficult for employers and employees alike, but it always helps to have a completely clear grievance procedure laid out in the employee handbook or HR manual, so no party is confused about their roles and responsibilities.

The phrase ‘grievance at work’ comes up often in reference to complaints or unhappy feelings in the workplace, and can be thought of as a phrase that encompasses a range of complaints or points of contention.

However, a misconception is raising grievance at work has to be done in the form of a formal complaint, and shouldn’t be the first option you jump to when there is a problem.

Informal Process

It is certainly more beneficial for concerns to be raised informally in the first instance, so that you can attempt to solve the issue in a swift and informal manner. However, if  employees are not satisfied with the solution, or the problem continues to occur, then there is still the option of raising a formal grievance.

Employers should have the processes for raising a grievance laid out in their disciplinary and grievance procedures in the HR manual/handbook or employee intranet.

Written Grievance

Firstly, if the informal process has been exhausted, is not appropriate, or concerns have been raised in writing a detailing the problem.  Following receipt of a grievance letter, you will need to arrange a grievance hearing in line with your procedure.

Following the grievance hearing, a quick but considered decision needs to be made as to whether the grievance is upheld, including any recommendations, to the employee in writing. This will include a right of appeal.

Resolution Policies

Grievance procedures are an important part of workplace dispute resolution policies, and they serve as a way to help solve problems and return the workplace to normalcy following any incidents or events. However, there are times when grievance procedures will not be effective, and you might want to employ the use of alternative dispute resolution techniques, such as Mediation.

At HCHR, we know the balance a workplace needs to strike in order to work efficiently as a unit, but we also understand that it can be hard to maintain that balance sometimes. When a grievance crops up it can often feel like the workplace is teetering on an edge, but we have years of experience in dealing with a number of different grievances, and we are also fully trained as third party mediators.

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Call 01792 234761 to find out more about our outsourced HR services, and how we can help you.