Grievance Procedures

A grievance is basically a complaint. In a workplace a grievance generally occurs as a result of treatment which is perceived to be unfair or harsh at the hands of a work colleague. Typical situations which might result in a grievance include:

Employers need to implement measures to allow any such problems to be resolved effectively and fairly. One such measure is to implement 'grievance procedures', the purpose of which is to make it easier for employees to come forward if they feel they are a victim of unfair treatment.

If employees have difficulty dealing with significant workplace issues then the likely result is a reduction in workplace morale, increased staff turnover or even the risk of the employee taking legal action.

Grievance procedures will commonly contain:


A recommendation that the first action the aggrieved party take is to attempt to resolve the problem by talking directly with the person causing perceived to be perpetrating unfair or harsh treatment.


If any such attempt to find a resolution is unsuccessful, the method by which to bring the matter to the attention of appropriate authorities.


The amount of time which the complainant has to commence the grievance.


The process by which the grievance will be investigated, including the length of time within which matter must be actioned.


The confidentiality that must be observed


Guidance on mediation strategies


The process for appointing persons to arbitrate on the matter


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