Grievance Procedures

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Sample Grievance Resolution Process

Sample Grievance Resolution Process

17 Jan 2008

This is a sample of a Grievance Resolution Process.

Quick Facts

Why is a Grievance Procredure Important

A Grievance Procedure is particularly helpful for young employees, who, when they have a grievance may become withdrawn, demotivated or may bottle it up and over react emotionally to some other trigger or event.

By having a formal procedure in place, young employees will know they can raise a matter and how to go about it. The grievance is more likely to be brought to your attention, resolved quickly and less likely to build into a bigger issue.

Other benefits may include:
  • Peaceful method of conflict resolution
  • Quick and effective resolution
  • Improved communication and working relationships
  • Better employee performance and morale
  • Avoidance of the costs and delays of seeking external solutions

    You may wish to check your Award, as some have Grievance processes included.

Reduce your Legal Liability

Under the Australian anti-discrimination law, employers are responsible for any incident of unlawful discrimination and harassment in the workplace unless they can show they have taken 'all reasonable steps' to prevent the discrimination or harassment. 'Reasonable steps' includes having an effective, formal grievance procedure in place and followed.

Be Firm but Fair

As young adults starting work, leaving home and entering into serious relationships, the pressure of life can cause stresses that impact at work. A firm but fair management style that encourages open communication is a good starting point. By talking through potential problems or concerns, you can address them before they become a formal 'grievance'.

Involving Parents

Rarely will a teenager want their parents involved, but for quite serious matters you should at least propose parental involvement to the employee. Should the parents contact you and question as to why they weren't involved you can at least advise them that the offer was made and their son or daughter declined to have them present.

Types of Grievances

Grievances may include bullying, harassment, a pay dispute, a safety issue or simply a personality clash; but remember that facing up to the issue is the best, cleanest, and most effective way forward.

Deal with it now

Don’t unduly delay dealing with a grievance. It’s important that you deal with a problem before the matter becomes worse and a Grievance Procedure may help to do this. If left undealt with, the employee will become frustrated that nothing is being done and this can result in other issues such as the employee becoming disatissfied and unmotivated, absenteeism and so on.
Deal with emotions first. Imposing logic over an emotionally upset person rarely works. Take half a step backwards, let them vent, calm down or compose themselves, before getting back to the procedure and facts of the matter.


The Occupational Health & Safety Act, by law, requires effective, meaningful consultation with staff regarding safety matters - but why stop at safety? By engaging in regular consultation with staff you can be made aware of, and address, a whole range of issues before they become a problem or grievance.

Make consultation a regular part of your business operations through all or any of the following methods:
  • Staff Surveys
  • Suggestions Boxes
  • ‘Toolbox’ talks
  • Staff lunches
  • Staff Meetings
  • Performance Reviews
  • General conversations
  • Annual or Periodical Performance Review
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