From time to time, you may face handling a grievance under your organisation’s Grievance Policy & Procedures. Here’s a checklist for you to use when handling a grievance.
Checklist when handling grievances under ACAS Code of Practice
- Has the matter been tried to be resolved informally, if not does the employee want the matter to be addressed formally using the Grievance Procedure?
- Is the complaint about a Manager? If so can another Manager investigate the complaint?
- Has the employee put the grievance in writing?
- Arrange a grievance hearing and send a standard letter to invite the employee to attend.
- Hold the meeting in private without interruption from outside.
- Arrange for someone to take notes with the Manager.
- Check in advance of the hearing whether a grievance has been raised before and is it similar?
- Remember a grievance hearing is nothing like a disciplinary hearing. Lay the room out to reflect this.
- Make introductions for the benefits of all parties and the notes.
- Outline how the hearing will be structured and everyone’s role.
- Make lots of eye contact with those speaking.
- Make allowances for any letting off of steam needed by the employee if they are under stress.
- Ask the employee to restate their grievance.
- Ask the employee how they would like to see the matter resolved.
- Sum up the meeting at the end and possibly adjourn in order to investigate further.
- Consider the use of a neutral mediator to sort out the grievance and maintain working relationships
- Tell the employee when they will receive a response to their grievance.
- Explain that they will be given the right of appeal and point out that the right will be given in the written response.
- Type up notes from meeting and place on personnel file swiftly after meeting.
- Arrange the appeal swiftly if the employee appeals and organize for another Manager to hear the appeal if possible.
- Remain objective at all times even if hearing an appeal about your own decision.
- In cases involving a grievance about a fellow employee encourage use of the formal procedure or risk a constructive dismissal claim.
- Talk privately with the employee about the concerns of fellow employees.
- If this counselling does not resolve the issues consider further action such as an independent mediator.
- The meetings where the employee needs to be offered the right of accompaniment are the meetings where the employer deals with a complaint about ‘a duty owed by the employer to the employee’. If in doubt offer accompaniment.
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