If you have received a staff grievance, as a manager/employer you have a duty to act. How you respond can make the difference between retaining or losing good people and staying out of the Commission.


Take these 4 steps before contacting us:
1)  Encourage the complainant to put their grievance in writing, or take a written grievance on their behalf;
2)  Take reasonable steps to ensure any parties involved are protected from victimisation. To do this, make sure you tell the complainant that a) the matter is confidential and not to be discussed with any other parties; and b) you will address the matter promptly and objectively and if at any point they feel unsafe they are to come to you immediately.  
3)  Review any Policies you have in place that address the employee’s concerns, including your Complaints/Grievance Handling policy; and
4)  If you perceive that there is a real risk to an employee’s safety, you may need to look at standing down an employee pending investigation, or moving an employee to another role temporarily.  Do not do this until you have thoroughly assessed the risk.


Points to note:

  • It is important to note that as an employer you must ensure you respond appropriately. Therefore, you must ensure you do not treat the parties involved differently or worse because of the complaint or for any discriminatory reason.
  • Once these initial steps have been taken, you will need to assess whether a formal investigation is required. 
  • Investigations should be undertaken by a trained, skilled person as there are significant risks when done poorly. 
  • There are many benefits to engaging an objective 3rd party to handle grievances. 


Focus HR can assist you with:
a)  Coaching Managers in the initial response to a grievance;
b)  Assessing the grievance against your policies and the relevant legislation;
c)  Conducting a thorough, objective and timely investigation when required;
d)  Providing a full written report on the outcome of the investigation; and
e)  Recommending appropriate courses of action dependent on the investigation outcome.

During business hours call us on:  
Outside of business hours please use our "Urgent Situation" contact form.
We will contact you first thing the next business day!
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