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Grievance Policy and Procedure

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

Have you ever felt like the workplace wasn't playing fair? From feeling overwhelmed by too much work to worrying about discrimination, it can be difficult when we don't know how best to handle these situations. That's why having a strong grievance policy and procedure in place is such an essential part of running your organization. Let's look at everything from exploring grievance policies and procedures to more. Also, understanding how they must be implemented for maximum effectiveness.

What is a Grievance Policy and Procedure?

A grievance policy and procedure are designed to provide your staff with the tools they need to address any grievances that might arise. This policy should provide clear steps for employees to follow if they feel something isn't quite right. Also, outline what behaviour is expected from both employers and employees. Ensuring that the grievance policy and procedure are readily available and communicated to all staff is important. This way, everyone understands what it covers and how to deal with grievances properly.

Types of Grievances

As an HR manager, you may be called upon to handle a wide variety of grievances. These can range from minor issues, such as disputes between coworkers over personal differences. Also, misunderstandings, to more complaints of discrimination, workplace harassment, or unfair labour practices.

Here are some of the most common types of grievances that HR personnel may need to address:

Management Policies

When it comes to workplace disputes, management and corporations often have the upper hand due to their size and resources. But when these entities implement policies that don't align with labour laws. Employees can lodge a complaint that is sure to be heard by the organizations in question. These issues are not always glamorous - they can range from unpaid overtime wages to discriminatory practices. Yet, it is essential that employees be vocal about any untoward policies set forth by organizations in higher positions of power.

Interpersonal Factors

Interpersonal factors can be a major source of complaints in the workplace – and with good reason. When someone experiences a violation of fairness or justice, they might feel frustrated, unheard, and angry simultaneously. It could involve unfair treatment compared to other employees and unjust rules that do not apply equally to everyone. Also, any issues between coworkers or management and staff.

Working Conditions

Working conditions are often the source of dissatisfaction for employees. Employers owe their employees a safe and healthy workplace environment, whether it's a lack of ventilation in an office or staff being burdened with too much paperwork for any hazardous materials on the job site. From ventilating all possible areas to having policies in place that limit how many tedious tasks can be assigned. It is important that employers take their workers' concerns and strive to improve working conditions from day to day.

Policy and Procedure for Individual Employee Grievance

As you know, in any workplace, there is always the potential for a grievance between an employee and their employer or manager. Therefore, it is important to have a clear policy for dealing with individual complaints to ensure that disagreements are handled.

Here are a few things that should be included in your grievance procedure policy:

Policy Declaration

It is important to state at the start of the policy that individual employee grievances are taken and will be dealt with in a timely manner. This provides clarity and comfort to both employer and employee alike.


Working at the OIC can come in many forms, and this new policy applies to all of them. No matter if you're a permanent staffer or a volunteer, serving on a contract or seconded from another department. Whether you're a member of the PSA or appointed by the Governor and Council, this policy will apply to you. This way, every single one of us must be aware of what it entails.


At the core of everything we do is natural justice. We strive to approach all matters related to employees in a way that is balanced, fair and respectful. Following natural justice principles allow us to take action that is good for the business and our employees.

Procedure for Resolving Grievances

Dealing with grievances can be a complicated process. If an informal attempt to resolve the grievance doesn't satisfy your needs, you may have to file a formal grievance to move the process further. It involves following step 1 of the grievance process outlined by your employer. It's important to follow all steps of the formal procedure, as missteps can delay or impede its effectiveness.

Human Rights Grievances

Human rights grievances are an important part of the resolution process. Also, there are steps you can take to ensure your case is treated seriously. It's important to dig deep and understand exactly how your human rights were violated. It will make it easier to evaluate potential courses of action or remedies.


When handling employee grievances, confidentiality is of the utmost importance to us. Our primary goal is for all parties involved to feel comfortable sharing information about the issue at hand in a trusting environment. We do not share information with anyone except those who are needed to resolve it. Also, legal disclosure obligations must be met when appropriate. It allows us to reach an effective outcome while protecting the privacy of the employees throughout the process.


As a manager or supervisor, you must proactively identify workplace issues. Try to resolve grievances and conduct courageous and supportive conversations with your employees. What may appear to be a small problem at first can easily develop into something more serious if not addressed effectively by creating an environment that encourages employees to speak out honestly and without fear of reprisal. The managers can nip any grievances in the bud before they have time to escalate. It will also potentially require the intervention of a union representative.


Managing grievances in the workplace can be a complex process and one with many potential issues with maintaining confidentiality. To assist with this process, the DECS keeps a register of individual employee grievances in an accessible file that only they are able to access. It's reassuring to know that more documentation pertinent to the grievance is kept in a separate confidential file. It is accessible only by the DECS or the Information Commissioner if necessary.

Talk to a HR consultant

Talk to one of our qualified HR consultants for more information:


Grievance policies and procedures are essential for ensuring employees have the ability to be heard. Also, any issues or complaints they may have are dealt with promptly and respectfully. By following the above principles and procedures, we can ensure fairness and justice are applied to all grievances in the workplace.

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