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INFORMAL GRIEVANCES PROCEDURES

Where no Formal Grievance Procedure exists in the workplace:

Many employers do not have a written Formal Grievance Procedure in the workplace.  (You may wish to confirm this with your manager or supervisor before considering appropriate action.)

Even if a Formal Grievance Procedure does not exists where you work, it is advisable to raise your concerns with your manager/ supervisor in writing before taking the matter outside the workplace.  Employers usually take exception to outsiders meddling in internal workplace management matters and prefer the matter to be dealt with internally prior to the intervention of a third party.  

Where possible, communication should be in writing.  It is critical to put together as much proof as possible that you have attempted to resolve the issue before the matter is taken outside the workplace.  This will strengthen your case if you need to take it further.  Often when these types of matters reach the CCMA, the employer simply claims that he was unaware of the dispute and argues that the company would have attended to the problem had they known about it. This could detract from your claim especially if no evidence can be brought showing that the matter was initially pursued internally.  

When an attempt to resolve a dispute fails:

When a matter is not resolved adequately internally, 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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