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Many employers have set up a Formal Grievance Procedure in the workplace.  This provides a framework in which the employee can raise, and hopefully resolve, internal disputes at work. 

The advantages of a Formal Grievance Procedure are:

  • Consistency,  

  • Greater transparency,

  • A formal record of the dispute is created and attempts to resolve it formally documented,

  • A level of certainty is created in the procedures to follow,

  • It indicate a commitment by the employer to resolve internal matters in an open and thorough manner,

  • It helps alleviate frustrations in the workplace as the employee can start working through the Formal Grievance Procedure as soon as an issue arises,

  • It provides a mechanism to raise concerns firstly with ones direct supervisor or manager and, failing that, to bring the matter to the attention of individuals that are normally higher up in the management or executive structure.  

If no Formal Grievance Procedure exists, than one should still proceed by way of a Grievance Procedure:  >>  no formal Grievance Procedure

Procedure to follow in the case of a dispute:

If you suspect that a Formal Grievance Procedure exists, contact your manager or supervisor to gain a copy of such document.

If a Formal Grievance Procedure exists where you work, it is advisable to use such procedure before taking the matter outside the workplace.  Employers usually take exception to outsiders meddling in internal workplace management matters and prefer the Formal Grievance Procedure to be followed prior to the intervention of a third party.  

When an attempt to resolve a dispute through using the Formal Grievance Procedure fails:

When a matter is not resolved adequately through following a Formal Grievance Procedure, professional expert advice should be sought prior to taking the next step.  (Resigning in frustration should not be considered the solution... Such resignation may play into the hands of your employer who has acted inappropriately.  )

Professional counsel would be invaluable: 

  •  to gain perspective,

  •  to gain insight into the legal position, and

  • to be advised of the various options available to best protect your rights..   

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