Staff grievances are formal complaints made by staff in the workplace. They can cover a range of issues including bullying, harassment, conflict with another staff member or unfair processes in the workplace and discrimination.
Businesses in Australia are required to have a grievance process in place. All Modern Awards and Enterprise Bargaining Agreements contain a generic grievance process however, it is recommended that businesses tailor a policy that suits their work culture.
Tips and Tricks in Dealing With Grievances
- Make sure you have a grievance policy in place and staff receive a copy of this during their induction and on an annual basis (for a refresher) thereafter.
- If staff have a genuine grievance they must be encouraged to put it in writing so that it can be appropriately investigated.
- If a grievance has been directed against an individual staff member or work group make sure they are given the opportunity to respond to the allegations during your investigations.
- If staff allege they are being bullied or have workplace stress and your investigation indicates that they are in fact only being held accountable to work standards (in a professional manner), consider getting an independent investigation.
- Make sure you keep well documented notes on all grievances including notes on meetings, performance counselling sessions, performance reviews and verbal discussions.
- Appropriate action following a genuine staff grievance will depend on the circumstances and severity of the situation. We suggest asking the aggrieved staff member what actions they would like taken. This should be taken into consideration.
Contact us for:
- The drafting of a Grievance Policy
- Reviewing and providing feedback on your existing Grievance Policy
- Quality advice on how to handle a specific grievance
- Independent investigations regarding grievances
- Providing supervisory and management training on dealing with grievances