Grievances in the Workplace

May 25, 2016

Are employers aware of the three basic principles around grievances in the workplace?
Most grievances are not dealt with properly, mainly because managers are not aware of the basic principles of dealing with grievances. As a result, they practice avoidance tactics. Not only is this unprofessional, but it could cause grievances to escalate when employees feel they do not have a voice. There are three basic principles that would allow employers, or managers for that matter, to do deal with grievances efficiently.
Employers must be able to address breaches of rules and standards when they occur to ensure fairness in its workplace. It is also essential to allow employees to raise issues when they arise. This ensures employees feel they have a voice and can talk freely about things that make them unhappy enough that it affects their work.
To do this efficiently, employers must have a thorough understanding around grievances.
Here are the three basic principles around grievances:
#1: Resolve grievances as close to the source of the problem as possible. In addition, focus on the parties’ interests and needs – what do they really want to see happen as the outcome from the grievance?
#2: Deal with grievances as quickly as possible. The employer or company must develop a culture of quick resolution within the stipulated deadlines.
#3: Have clear guidelines on how grievances should be dealt with. Managers must know how to conduct a grievance procedure so they can deal with grievances properly.
Underlying all of these principles is knowledge and communication.
All employees must know that there is a grievance procedure and how to use it. It is crucial that managers are also clear on what to do when a grievance is lodged.
Understanding the basic principles around grievances will ensure employers deal with grievances swiftly before they affect their bottom line.

Disclaimer: LabourMan exclusively provides services to employers.

The content does not constitute legal advice, are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Kindly contact us on or 021 556 1075 to speak to one of our consultants.


Wallace Albertyn

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

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