What is a grievance procedure?
It enables individual employees to raise grievances with their employer about their employment, either by themselves or with a representative.
Should employers have grievance procedures?
Employers are not required by law to have grievance procedures but they must, in the written statement of terms and conditions of employment, state whether or not such a procedure exists. It is regarded as good practice to give the name or job title of the person to whom an employe can apply if they have a grievance and the Tribunal will consider whether good practice has been adopted.
The procedure provides an open and fair way for employees to make known their problems and enables grievances to be resolved quickly before they fester and become major problems.
What should the grievance procedure contain?
It should be simple, rapid in operation and in writing. Most grievance procedures should outline:
- how and with whom to raise the issue
- whom next to apply to if not satisfied
- time limits to each stage
- the right to be represented
Where can you get more information?
JACS has details of disciplinary and grievance procedures and staff are available to give advice. Please also refer to the Code of Practice.
Please click on the following for a model Grievance Procedure.
They make clear what conduct the employer considers is acceptable and what is unacceptable. They also make sure that employees' conduct and job performance meet certain minimum standards, and they clearly indicate what action the company will take if company rules are broken. Each company must decide the way that it applies its rules. It is good practice to put the rules in writing because written rules are less likely to be misunderstood. It is important that company rules should be easily accessible and known and understood by all employees.
What issues should company rules cover?
Issues such as absence, timekeeping, health and safety, use of company facilities and any others relevant to individual businesses. The rules should particularly identify the type of conduct which will lead to disciplinary action (misconduct) and the type of conduct which will lead to dismissal without notice (gross misconduct). The right of an employee to be represented by a fellow employee or trade union official should also be set out (see Guideline to the right to be represented).