The Importance of Grievance Policies and Procedures

Regardless of size, every supermarket business will eventually have its share of disputes and disagreements among its employees. These conflicts often lead to problems for your business, ranging from unmotivated staff to negative publicity or even employee lawsuits.

You can’t run your supermarket alone (nor would you want to), and you don’t want your essential business disrupted, so it’s critical to keep your employees happy and have a proper Grievance Handling Policy in place.

What Is a Grievance?

A grievance can be about anything done or not done, by management or another employee or employees, which you feel affects you unfairly or unjustly. A grievance can also be about discrimination, harassment, bullying, or any other employment-related decision or behavior that you think is unfair, unjust, or upsetting.

Some other examples of grievances can include:

  • Issues with employment terms and conditions
  • Working relationships
  • Health and safety concerns

Why Do I Need a Grievance Handling Policy?

The primary purpose of a grievance policy is to give your employees an easy way to bring up concerns or sensitive issues about the work environment or relationships with others working in your business.

As an employer, you are legally required in writing to provide details of any procedure applicable to handling employee grievances. This must specify who employees can raise grievances to and cover the steps that follow a grievance being raised.
Providing a grievance policy to employees tells them precisely what to do when they run into an issue. It also lets new employees know during the onboarding process that you care how employees feel and take employee concerns seriously.

Options for Managing Grievances

A grievance can be dealt with informally by approaching the involved if you feel comfortable doing so. Let them know that any behavior, decision, actions, etc., was unfair, offensive, discriminatory, etc., and why. The person may have been unaware of the effects of their behavior, and you can give them a chance to resolve the matter.
Informal grievances are dependent on the severity of the situation.

Formal grievances should be treated with confidentiality (except where you deem it necessary to disclose the complaint to deal with it effectively; disclosure will be no more comprehensive than is strictly required).

If you believe an investigation is required where a grievance cannot be resolved informally, it will be conducted by the appropriate person determined by you. It may also be an external investigation, but how the investigation is undertaken is at your discretion as the employer.

During the investigation, all relevant people will be independently interviewed. If the complaint is valid, appropriate action should be taken. If the complaint is unfounded, an explanation should be given to the employee that submitted the grievance. If the complaint is found to have been fabricated or vexatious, appropriate disciplinary action may be taken against the employee up to and including termination of employment.

We are here to help

IndiHub members can find our Grievance Policy template in the HR Templates section of our members portal as well as 200 other policy and procedure templates.

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