Elements of a Grievance Procedure

Jun 1, 2016

In our previous article we dealt with the principles around grievances in the workplace. In this article we deal with the elements that will make a grievance procedure effective.
It is unfortunately so that where there are employees, there are sure to be grievances. It is therefore important that employers have grievance policies and procedures in the workplace.
Having them will help resolve issues in the workplace as soon as possible, which in turn can help maintain employee satisfaction and performance.
To ensure that grievance policies and procedures are effective, make sure they contain the following 6 elements:
The total assurance, to employees, that they are free to raise grievances without any fear of prejudice or discrimination.
The total assurance that the privacy of employees who may have grievances, will be protected.
Have a time limit for reporting grievances in order to ensure that employees report grievance-related incidents in the workplace soon after they have occurred.
Have a condition that the employee must lay out his/her complaint in writing.
This will ensure understanding and knowledge of what exactly the grievance is all about.
Also make sure that the employee lays out what they are expecting the outcome of the grievance to be, so that it is known exactly what they want.
Make it clear who the employee must first contact with regard to a grievance.
Clearly lay out, if necessary, all the various levels that a grievance could go through and clearly indicate what the final level, of attempting to solve the grievance internally, is.
Also, give a guideline indicating how long each level should take in attempting to solve a grievance.
And finally, state that if a grievance cannot be solved internally at the highest level, employees are free to exercise their rights under the Labour Relations Act.


Wallace Albertyn

Wallace Albertyn is a Senior Associate and Legal Advisor at LabourMan Consultants.

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