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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

  1. 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?
  2. Is the complaint about a Manager? If so can another Manager investigate the complaint?
  3. Has the employee put the grievance in writing?
  4. Arrange a grievance hearing and send a standard letter to invite the employee to attend.
  5. Hold the meeting in private without interruption from outside.
  6. Arrange for someone to take notes with the Manager.
  7. Check in advance of the hearing whether a grievance has been raised before and is it similar?
  8. Remember a grievance hearing is nothing like a disciplinary hearing. Lay the room out to reflect this.
  9. Make introductions for the benefits of all parties and the notes.
  10. Outline how the hearing will be structured and everyone’s role.
  11. Make lots of eye contact with those speaking.
  12. Make allowances for any letting off of steam needed by the employee if they are under stress.
  13. Ask the employee to restate their grievance.
  14. Ask the employee how they would like to see the matter resolved.
  15. Sum up the meeting at the end and possibly adjourn in order to investigate further.
  16. Consider the use of a neutral mediator to sort out the grievance and maintain working relationships
  17. Tell the employee when they will receive a response to their grievance.
  18. Explain that they will be given the right of appeal and point out that the right will be given in the written response.
  19. Type up notes from meeting and place on personnel file swiftly after meeting.
  20. Arrange the appeal swiftly if the employee appeals and organize for another Manager to hear the appeal if possible.
  21. Remain objective at all times even if hearing an appeal about your own decision.
  22. In cases involving a grievance about a fellow employee encourage use of the formal procedure or risk a constructive dismissal claim.
  23. Talk privately with the employee about the concerns of fellow employees.
  24. If this counselling does not resolve the issues consider further action such as an independent mediator.
  25. 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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