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Every employer is required, under law, to have a Grievance Procedure in place.
- It provides the employee with an opportunity to resolve a genuine grievance about any aspect of their employment.
- A grievance procedure must be included with the employee's contract of employment or in an accompanying company handbook.
The Grievance Procedure
The aim of the grievance policy is to ensure that employees with a grievance relating to their employment can use a procedure which can help to resolve grievances as quickly as possible.
- The Grievance Procedure should be clear, simple, fair and reasonable.
- An employee has a right to a hearing by their immediate supervisor or other management personnel if appropriate, and this should be conducted as speedily as possible
- If an employee is unhappy with the outcome of the hearing then they should have the right to appeal to a more senior manager
- An employee has a right to be accompanied by a colleague or appropriate representative at the hearing
- In the event of a matter not being resolved at the internal stage then the matter should be referred through the usual industrial relations process
Beyond the grievance procedure
There are a number of steps in the grievance procedure ranging from informal with the immediate manager to formal with representation and/or management. If issues are not resolved, they can be escalated to the Rights Commissioner, Labour Relations Commission, Labour Court, Employment Appeals Tribunal or Equality Officer as appropriate.
The aim of the Grievance Procedure is to help resolve grievances as quickly as possible. When formulating the Grievance Procedure for your company, the following points may prove useful:
- All grievances should be put in writing by all involved parties
- Agreed timeframes must be adhered to. However, if the timeframes cannot be adhered to, the timeframes may be extended by mutual agreement
- There may be an investigation and interviews with people involved
- It may start and stop with the informal discussion but it may escalate to the formal procedure
- Confidentiality is key