How To Deal With Workplace Grievances As An Employer


Any and all staff complaints need to be properly and carefully handled as a grievance may concern an employee’s job role, another member of staff or the workplace. As the owner of the business, your aim should be to resolve any issues both quickly and effectively in order to ensure that your employee gets a fair hearing and outcome. 

You also want to avoid putting your business through costly and lengthy employee tribunals as this may have an effect on your other employees and reputation. When you are an employer and business owner, the welfare of your business and employees is paramount, so if you need to deal with workplace grievances, then here are some tips to help you through the process. 

Initiating The Grievance Procedure

Every company should, by law, have a formal and written grievance procedure in place. This procedure should inform employees of who they should get in contact with should an issue arise at work and set out the steps of the grievance process and estimated time process for each of the stages. In a lot of instances, the first step of a grievance procedure usually involves an informal discussion to see if the issue in question can be easily or quickly. If this doesn’t look to be the case, then the employee will need to start the process by submitting a grievance in writing. 

Investigating The Grievance

Whilst it isn’t always necessary, you might need to take some time out to investigate the complaint fully. If the issue is involving other staff members, then they will need to be informed and given a chance to explain their position on the matter, or to provide their own evidence. Once you have completed your investigations, you can then arrange a grievance hearing procedure and you will need to inform all of the relevant parties so that they can begin to make their own preparations. Whenever an investigation is being taken, it is best to seek the advice of corporate solicitors in order to fully understand what the appropriate action for your business is and any implications which may occur.  

Holding A Hearing

The next action is to hold a formal meeting, where the employee in question will set out their grievance and provide their evidence to back up their grievance. All parties in question should attend this hearing. Employees also have the right to bring along a colleague or union representative if they want. The employee should also be invited to explain how they would prefer their issue to be resolved and the outcome that they are seeking. It is important that formal notes are taken at this meeting so that they can then be circulated to all parties afterwards. Before the hearing is held, you may want to chat with a dispute resolution solicitors to get a better understanding of the situation and where you stand if things start to turn sour.

Making Your Decision

After the meeting, you will need to make your decision regarding the case. You might decide to uphold the employee’s grievance, whether in full or partly, or you may decide to reject it. If you do decide to uphold it, or parts of it, then you will need to identify the course of action which is then to be taken. Write to the employee and tell them what your decision is. You must explain the reasons for your decision and advise them what actions are going to be taken by you and the actions that they should take as well.