Though I hope it is a subject that you may never have to come across, with an abundance of no-win no fee companies advertising their services all over the media, ensuring you have an employee grievance structure in place is vital if you wish to keep both your company and your employees safe.
The consequences of an employee and employer dispute getting out of hand and being taken to the level of compensation, and the courts, does not bare worth thinking about. But, if you fail to implement an employee grievance procedure when you begin to take on staff, you will unfortunately put yourself, your company and indeed other employees at risk should an employee wish to take any grievance they have further.
Display Your Employee Grievance Procedure
To make things clear for everyone involved, I stress to every company that their employee grievance procedures should always be stated clearly on every employee’s contract when they first begin working for your company. That way, should the situation arise where an employee has a problem, they can be referred to the official stages, meaning their action, alongside yours, is done by the rule book.
Record, Record, Record…
If an employee decides to instigate the grievance procedure, I urge you from the very first instance to open a file and note everything in writing that relates to the case, regardless of whether you believe it is a small or insignificant issue. Make your employee aware of the file, and that they too need to refer to this case number file with all their grievance correspondence. That way, the case can be easily allocated and both employer and employee have proof of the progress of the case.
Routinely Check That your Grievances Procedure is Relevant
With many larger companies, the first person in a grievance procedure for contact is usually a line manager or a supervisor. However, with many employees leaving the company and indeed being promoted and moving into other roles, this specific allocated person can change several times over the years. If you fail to keep this information updated on your grievance policy, or you fail to make the employees aware of who they can turn to when these problems begin, you make yourself look unprofessional and leave yourself open to future problems once a case is instigated.
Ensure All Staff Follow the Correct Procedures
Don’t forget that every person mentioned as a contact for the grievance procedure should also be aware of the steps and follow them to the exact letter. It is little use having a protected grievance structure in place if a certain manager or supervisor decides to implement their own rules, causing a catalogue of problems further down the line.