Grievances are concerns, problems or complaints that employees may raise with their employers.
Current legislation ensures that an employee is entitled to receive from their employer, within two months of commencing employment, a written statement of the main terms and conditions of employment. The written statement must specify a person to whom an employee can apply for the purpose of seeking resolution of any grievance relating to his/her employment, how the employee should make such applications and any further steps in this process which are available to the employee.
Grievance procedures help employers to deal with grievances fairly, consistently and speedily and avoid the need for legal action. The LRA Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures sets out the steps that should be followed by the employee and the employer:
- The employee should raise the grievance informally in the first instance.
- If the matter is not resolved the employee should raise the matter formally by letting the employer know the nature of the grievance;
- The employer should hold a meeting with the employee to discuss the grievance;
- The employer should decide on any appropriate action; and
- The employee should be offered the right of appeal.
Industrial Tribunals may adjust any award of compensation up or down by 50% for failure by either party to follow the relevant steps set out in the LRA’s Code of Practice.