If something unfair and unusual happens to the employees at work, a company has several procedures to deal with the misconduct called grievance that the employee may file. In other words, a grievance means a formal complaint raised by an employee towards the employer in their workplace.
Employees have a variety of issues they might complain about, such as contract violations, bullying at work, or inconsistent or unfair pay. An employer’s procedure to address these situations is known as the grievance policy. In this article, we will talk about what a grievance policy actually is and how companies use it for their betterment.
Let’s get started!!
So, grievances are majorly of three types, and the grievance handling procedure for each depends on the company policy.
There are majorly three types of grievances that apply to organizations all around India. They are:
Individual Grievances are the ones that an individual employee grieves against the employer/management like biased demotions, workplace harassment, or inconsistent or non-payment of salaries.
This is a kind of grievance that a group or a team collectively complains against the management. For example, when none of the team members receive the promised bonus by the employer.
This is usually uncommon, especially in the corporate as there are no unions. However, this type of grievance is when a whole union complains against the management such as contract misinterpretation.
All the companies have certain procedures to handle these grievances. What is a grievance procedure?
A grievance procedure is a formal way an employee can raise a grievance or complaint against his/her employer. An employee can raise a written grievance when he/she feels that raising an informal or verbal grievance did not work, or when it is a very serious issue like sexual harassment or bullying.
However, every grievance procedure comes with various advantages and disadvantages which we will discuss next.
The ability to file a grievance is the right of every employee. Developing proper grievance procedures is necessary and failing to do so may be considered a violation of the law. It has several advantages and disadvantages, a few of which are listed below.
The investigative procedures are set and predefined. This gives an employee a rough idea of what procedures the company will follow once the employee files a grievance.
The grievance policy procedures are well-detailed and absolutely transparent. This allows the employees to know exactly how the company reached the conclusion of the grievance.
Written documents make it difficult for the companies to overlook your grievances. They cannot deny your complaints or say that we didn’t know about your problem as the paperwork will exist.
Some unions also permit a professional union representative or an attorney to represent the person filing the complaint. They eliminate the complainant’s reluctance to voice their issue because they are free of charge.
Sometimes grievance policy procedures are a hassle which may discourage the employees to come forth with their complaints. Similarly, this can also discourage employers to act upon the complaint unless it is written formally.
As the grievance handling procedure is a lengthy one it might take a longer time. This means the complaint will be unnecessarily dragged until the company finds the final solution. This is done to ensure that all the necessary details are followed from start to end.
The methods can be used by an employee to slow down a business and generate a ton of paperwork. It can be used to attack a person or the business because regulations frequently call for an investigation into every complaint (and frequently forbid retribution against the complainant).
Has your employee filed a grievance? Do you know how to handle the grievance in order to find a satisfying solution? If not, let’s see the steps involved in handling the grievances filed by your employee.
Since no two companies can have the same grievance policies, below are the general steps to be followed while handling a grievance.
To go with the rules, a company should provide a grievance form, or the employer may write it by email. Regardless, a grievance is a formal process and must be written. This written document will act as a guiding document throughout the process. Even though the employee will be interviewed later, he/she should mention as much information as possible in the document.
How the investigation begins varies depending on the type of complaint. A call to payroll or a quick review of the timecards, or an incorrect paycheck may be settled by the supervisor within minutes. If it is alleged that a senior manager has been sexually harassing the employee, the investigation could take a long time and involve numerous interviews, surveillance video viewings, email audits, etc. A third-party expert may be needed for some investigations, while others may be conducted simply by the supervisor or HR representative.
In a situation where unpaid overtime is involved, for example, discovering unprocessed time cards clearly demonstrates the employee’s position is correct. The verdict in a case of discrimination or harassment may be ambiguous. You may discover that the employee’s co-workers yelled racial slurs at the complaint. However, you can also learn that the complainant referred to several races in the exchange. The complaint may not have anticipated the decision.
When the grievance process is outlined in a union or other contract, this is frequently the case. To reach a resolution, the mediator collaborates with the employer and the business. The business might not have a formal resolution in place before the mediation meeting in some circumstances. Both parties in this dispute make their cases to the mediator, who then works to find a resolution.
The employer and employee take some sort of action, whether it be a formal agreement reached during mediation or a formal suggestion made by the investigator that the employer adopts. A small action could be involved, or someone might lose their job.
The employee has the right to file a court case if they are not happy and there is no clause in their contract that forbids them from doing so.
This totally depends on the grievance situation. When the complaint is with a long history, it may take hours to find a solution for that particular problem. The complaint filed for a one-time incident may be sorted within a matter of hours. If the employee has filed a complaint against racism, or sexual harassment, it needs careful investigation and may take months to find a solution as this may involve multiple people.
Every company has certain rules and regulations to follow in order to deal with a grievance even if they don’t have an intact policy for the same. If you are an organization that does not have any grievance policy in place, UBS HRMS Software can help you. We offer you an HR Toolkit that consists of all the HR-related documents like HR policies, letters, emails, and more. Get access to all the documents for free at Ultimate Business Systems.