When an employee has a concern or grievance and as a part of the disciplinary procedure, there should be a means by which such grievances and appeals can be examined.

The right of appeal and/or opportunity for an employee to have a grievance heard by someone other than the person against whom the grievance may be lodged, should be obvious.

Under the Employment Act 2002 employers must provide a grievance procedure. In this way, not only can the employee's voice be heard, but it can provide a defence against harassment, victimisation and bullying, prejudicial behaviour, favouritism and bias, and be seen as an important aspect of the employers' commitment to DIGNITY AT WORK.

The principles of a grievance procedure are that it should provide details of:

  • how to notify the concern or (if it arises from the application of the disciplinary procedure) the appeal;

  • who to appeal to and, should it be rejected by them, details of the next and any further stages;

  • time limits that apply regarding each decision; and

  • how decisions are to be communicated.

  • Draft Wording
    If you have a grievance or have received a warning or been dismissed or have any other concern you may lodge a grievance or exercise your right of appeal under this procedure.

    1. [The Organisation] believes that grievances should be settled as quickly as possible. If you have a grievance, you should discuss it first with your immediate superior. Every effort should be made to resolve the grievance at this stage.

    2. Your superior will deal with the matter within three working days (either verbally or in writing).

    3. If you are not satisfied with your superior's decision, you may make an appeal to the next tier of manager. Again, a decision will be given within three working days.

    4. If you are still dissatisfied, you may request an interview with [a director]. A decision will be given within five working days.

    5. Finally you have a right of appeal to [the Chairman] whose decision will be final and will be given as soon as practically possible.

    6. At all meetings you have the right (if you wish) to be accompanied by a colleague.

    7. If the subject of the grievance is discrimination or harassment which involves the employee's own superior, then application for a hearing under this policy may be made to [name - for example, the Personnel Manager] who will then conduct the matter on behalf of the employee. As far as possible in these circumstances the anonymity of the employee will be protected.

    Employees have the legal right to be accompanied by a colleague at a grievance hearing. Care needs to be taken since an interchange between employee and supervision could develop into a meeting during which a grievance is lodged. In such a case, failure to invite the employee to have a colleague present could raise the question of whether the grievance hearing was validly constituted.

    The administration of the grievance procedure should mirror that of the disciplinary procedure in that at every stage full notes should be kept and that, ideally, as the grievance is progressed persons other than those already involved should try to determine the matter.