Top tip… we would always encourage you to try and resolve any concerns an employee brings to you informally and as quickly as possible as a formal grievance needs to follow a fixed procedure which can be time consuming.
Informal grievance handling
If an employee raises a concern with you verbally, don’t just immediately discount it as moaning as often managers can do! Listen carefully and ask if they need you to look into the issue for them. If they reply yes then do so quickly and efficiently. By listening to employees, dealing with their concerns and communicating well with them builds an excellent working environment and ensures staff remained satisfied and therefore perform well for you.
If you can’t resolve the issue then inform the employee of the reasons why and, if possible give them some alternative solution.
An employee who puts a grievance in writing needs to have their concerns resolved through a formal grievance procedure. All formal grievances should be recorded and the information to be kept is as follows:
- the date of the grievance, hearings and appeals
- the nature of the grievance
- what was decided and what action was taken
- the rationale behind the decisions and actions
- whether an appeal was lodged
- the outcome of the appeal
- any subsequent developments
Minutes should be taken from all meetings and provided to the employee.
A grievance hearing is a meeting that is held to deal with a formal complaint an employee has made, this should be held approximately 5 days after receiving the grievance. The employee has the right to be given reasonable notice of the hearing and the right to be accompanied by a colleague or Trade Union Representative. You should also consider having a independent person there to take minutes and act as a witness, this can be an appropriate employee such as a managers secretary or we can attend to ensure the process is administered properly and legally.
At the meeting the manager should discuss the employee’s grievance with them and try to come to an amicable mutually agreeable solution to resolve the issue.
Top tip…remember this is not a disciplinary hearing, the employee has done nothing wrong (unless the complaint is perhaps a case of bullying / harassment) and therefore you need to act in a manner that shows you wish to come to a solution.
During the meeting it may become apparent that the manager needs to gather further information, evidence and / or speak to witnesses to determine the facts of the grievance further. If this is the case, adjourn the meeting and continue investigations arranging to continue the discussions for resolution at a later date.
At the end of the meeting sum up what has occurred and when the employee can expect to receive a decision from you. Then inform them in writing of the outcome.
Warning… remind the employee that the recording of the meeting is prohibited under the Company’s policies and procedures.
The employee has the right to appeal any decision made at a grievance hearing. The employee must be informed of this in the outcome letter along with the timescale they have to lodge the appeal. Wherever possible a different or more senior manager should deal with any appeal.
The manager dealing with any appeal needs to review the original grievance procedure to ensure it was fair and followed the ACAS Code of Practice.
You may decide to offer mediation between yourself and the employee, or where the grievance relates to a relationship breakdown between two employees this can often be very beneficial to resolving the issues in the workplace.
We offer mediation services and if you wish to receive further information contact us to discuss this further. ACAS offer mediation but this is very formal and may lead to an escalation to an employment tribunal.
If you need any assistance dealing with a grievance issue then please speak with us on 01757 667 334 or email firstname.lastname@example.org