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Use this page to understand how to handle grievances in your organisation.
Sometimes employees are unhappy about something at work. If they take it up with their employer, this is called ‘raising a grievance’.
Employers should treat grievances seriously and promptly – they normally don’t go away on their own!
To ensure you deal with grievances promptly and consistently, you should have a written grievance procedure. The procedure should explain how to resolve concerns informally as well as the steps in a formal procedure.
NCVO members can download our editable sample grievance procedure.
It’s usually best to try to deal with grievances informally and quickly. In most cases you’ll find you don’t need to proceed to a formal grievance procedure.
Depending on the situation, you may want to confirm any agreed actions in writing and follow up in a few weeks, to ensure the matter remains resolved.
Often, grievances are based on conflict between employees. In these situations, it can be helpful to involve a mediator – someone impartial who can help to facilitate a discussion between the different parties.
Read our guidance on managing conflict at work.
Acas can advise you on introducing mediation.
Contact our small charity helpdesk
If one of the following applies, you’ll need to proceed to a formal grievance procedure.
You should follow the steps in your organisation’s disciplinary procedure – but you can use the six steps below as a guide.
You can find more guidance from Acas on disciplinary and grievance procedures.
The Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures sets out the minimum steps you should follow for handling grievances at work.
If you’re running a grievance meeting, you may find the following checklist helpful.
Last reviewed: 01 August 2022Help us improve this content
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