Grievance Advice Guide

16 April 2019
A grievance is an actual or supposed hardship or wrong which becomes the subject matter of a complaint. In an employment sense, this most regularly pertains to working conditions or the treatment of a particular employee, who is making the complaint, by another. By virtue of the Industrial Relations Act 1990 Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures (Declaration) Order 2000, an employer is duty bound to set out clear grievance and disciplinary procedures for employees and to apply best practice in this context when dealing with any grievance situation. In order to abide by the Code of Practice and in order to ensure best HR practice, employers should ensure that any grievance procedure adopted must be rational and fair and in accordance with the principles of natural justice and fairness. It is important that an employee is given the right to be represented by a colleague or trade union representative during the hearing. Minutes should be taken during the meeting and both parties should sign a copy to indicate their agreement with same. A decision regarding the validity of the grievance and any subsequent action should never be discussed during the hearing itself, rather the employer should adjourn the meeting for approximately 24 hours to consider the information put forward by the employee along with the facts. A decision should be confirmed in writing and the employee should always be given the right to appeal the decision to the next level of management who has not had any involvement in the original grievance process.

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