Grievance Procedure

A grievance is a complaint by an employee about any aspect of their employment such as

  1. terms and conditions of employment;

  2. health and safety

  3. work relations

  4. bullying and harassment

  5. new working practices

  6. working environment

  7. organisational change

  8. discrimination

  9. pay

The grievance must be one that lies within the power of the manager to resolve, e.g. it must not be a grievance about matters determined by legislation.

Where another policy is used to address the grievance then the grievance procedure is not available in addition.

This procedure is not intended to deal with:

  1. Dismissal or disciplinary matters which are dealt with in a separate procedure.

In the event of a member of staff wishing to raise a grievance, it is preferable for the grievance to be satisfactorily resolved as close to the individual and the leader as possible. It is understood however that this is not always possible and that a formal procedure is required to ensure the swift and fair resolution of matters which aggrieve the employees.

An employee who is a member of a trade union may consult that trade union’s representative before invoking the grievance procedure, but the employee should normally raise the problem personally with the imanager before involving his/her trade union representative.

The leader will treat all employees’ grievances seriously and attempt to resolve them as quickly as possible. There should be no attempt to block an employee’s wish to raise the grievance.

Time scales have been fixed to ensure that grievances are dealt with quickly, however these may be extended if it is agreed upon by both parties. Employees should recognise that an investigation may be necessary which may delay the process beyond normal time limits.

Stages of the Grievance Procedure

Raising Grievances Informally

The employee should raise the grievance with the person causing the grievance in
the first instance. If the grievance cannot be resolved directly, or the employee feels unable to raise it directly then the employee should personally present the grievance, either orally or in writing, to the leader. The leader should give a reply as soon as possible, within a calendar week, even if it is only an interim reply.

Formal Grievance

If the employee is not satisfied with the reply by his/her leader, the employee should submit the grievance in writing, indicating that it is a formal grievance.

The written grievance should contain a brief description of the nature of the complaint, including any relevant facts, dates and names of individuals involved.

Grievance hearing

The leader will arrange a meeting with the employee to hear the grievance and will reply as soon as possible, within two calendar weeks, even if it is only an interim reply pending further investigation. At this stage, the employee may be accompanied by a trade union representative or a work colleague.

If it is necessary for the leader to attempt conciliation between two or more employees at this stage, each employee may be accompanied by a trade union representative or a work colleague at any meeting called by the leader. The leader may also be accompanied by another employee.

If the leader is unable to resolve the grievance and/or the employee raising the grievance is not satisfied with the outcome then the employee may appeal.


The aggrieved employee will be invited to an appeal meeting, normally within five days, and the appeal will be heard by the manager. The employee will have the right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative at this meeting if they wish.

After the meeting the manager will give their decision, normally within 24 hours. The manager’s decision is final.