Grievance policy

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What's a grievance policy, and when do you need it?

You must have a grievance policy in place for your employees and workers.

A grievance is essentially an employee complaint and employees may complain about many things. A grievance policy should make clear that the employer endeavours to ensure that its employees are happy working for it. An important part of that commitment includes putting in place a policy to ensure that the employer promptly, fairly and consistently, addresses any complaints, concerns, and problems relating to an employees employment with that employer.

Complaints about matters not concerning an employee’s employment, such as the behaviour of other workers, or about unlawful, unethical or inappropriate behaviour within, or affecting the employer business, should be raised under other policies for Bullying and Harassment, or Whistleblowing, for example.

If someone makes a complaint against an employee, under a grievance or other employment policy, then as the employer, you should apply the provisions within your Disciplinary Policy and/or Performance Improvement Policy.

The grievance policy should set out the procedures and time-frames relevant to how an employer will handle a grievance, including the rights of an employee to be accompanied by someone else at any meeting (or hearing) and what will happen to those who raise a grievance about another employee in bad faith.

Our experts recommend that you do not give this policy contractual status in any employment contract that you put in place, but that you do reference it in that contract, make clear that the employee is expected to comply with the policy and that you have the right to update or revise it, in your discretion and when you want to.

This template includes all the statutory requirements, as well as optional elements for you to consider.