Grievances and why you can’t afford to ignore them

Organisations devote more than 350 days in management time a year in managing disciplinary and grievance cases.

Although employee grievances are natural and to be expected in any workplace, many organizations struggle to handle them effectively.  This is evidenced by recent statistics from the Labour Relations Commission, which recorded its highest ever level of complaints from individuals to Rights Commissioners in 2010.  This is despite the introduction of the Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures (SI 146 of 2000 Industrial Relations Act, 1990) which stipulates that every employer, regardless of the size or nature of the organisation, should have a grievance procedure in place which complies with the Code of Practice.

Grievances that are dealt with promptly and efficiently can help to maintain an engaging, positive and productive workplace environment, whereas failure to do so can lead to the escalation of the issue resulting in reduced productivity, low morale, increased absenteeism and employee turnover, as well as the obvious potential for industrial disputes and/or legal action.  The CIPD’s 2007 Managing Conflict at Work Survey Report also confirms the impact on the organisation’s resources finding that on average, organisations devote more than 350 days in management time a year in managing disciplinary and grievance cases.  So what do you need to do as an employer?

Having an effective grievance policy and procedure in place which complies with the Code of Practice is an absolute must.  But having the policy in place is just the starting point.

See how the WorkplaceBullying team can help – For useful resources and the answers to some common questions on grievances, click here.