Grievance Policy Template

This grievance policy template sets out how an employer responds to issues raised by its employees and workers. A grievance is instigated by the individual. A grievance can be raised by an individual against their colleagues or the organisation (e.g., a complaint in relation to business practices). A policy identifies what amounts to a grievance, who can bring a grievance, and how a grievance can be escalated. Read more
Legislation GB-EAW
Topics Updated by a lawyer: 4 Apr 2024

The basics – all employers are legally required to have a written grievance policy which states:

  1. The person to whom the grievance should be submitted.
  2. The manner of submitting the grievance.
  3. Further steps that will then be taken.

This grievance policy template sets out the procedure for how an employer responds to complaints raised by its employees. A grievance can be raised by an employee against their colleagues or against the organisation. The employer should ensure that the grievance policy is kept up to date and available to all employees (e.g. by including a copy in the staff handbook and/or on the company intranet).

This grievance policy template identifies what amounts to a grievance, who can bring a grievance, and how a grievance can be reported and escalated. A well-drafted grievance policy should include timescales to help manage expectations and should also identify what happens when the grievance process has been exhausted.

Grievances raised by employees might relate to any of the following:

  1. Terms and conditions of employment.
  2. Health and safety.
  3. Work relations.
  4. Bullying and harassment.
  5. New working practices.
  6. Working environment.
  7. Organisational change.
  8. Discrimination.

The purpose of a grievance policy

The main purpose of using a grievance policy template is three-fold:

  1. Compliance with the minimum legal requirement to have a written grievance procedure.
  2. Ensure employees know how to make complaints to the employer.
  3. Assist managers to deal with complaints fairly and swiftly.

The complex bits (made simple!)

Employers should make sure their grievance policy is complied with. The employer should also ensure that their grievance policy is aligned with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. A failure by the employer to follow the Acas Code of Practice when handling a grievance may cause a tribunal to award up to 25% more compensation to an employee who brings a successful employment tribunal claim.

The board of a company usually has overall responsibility for the grievance policy. However, the board usually delegates responsibility for the implementation of the grievance policy to HR. Line managers will usually have day-to-day responsibility for the grievance policy. For more information about grievance procedures, check out the government website.

The key sections contained in this grievance policy template

This template contains 8 key steps that are fundamental to a well-thought-out grievance policy:

  1. Raising grievances informally: Employees should be asked to submit the complaint informally to their line manager or HR initially.

  2. Submitting a formal written grievance: If raising the grievance informally does not resolve the issue, then the employee should submit the grievance in writing to their line manager or HR setting out the details and indicating that it is a “formal grievance”.

  3. The employer’s investigation: Following receipt of a formal written grievance, the employer should investigate. The investigation required will depend on the nature of the grievance. It may involve interviewing, taking statements, and reviewing documents. The investigation may be carried out by the line manager, HR, or someone else.

  4. The grievance meeting: After the investigation, the employer should arrange a grievance meeting to enable the employee to explain the grievance and the resolution desired. However, an employer may hold the meeting prior to the investigation and then adjourn the meeting so that the investigation can take place. The employer would then reconvene a meeting days/weeks later to discuss the matter in light of the investigation.

  5. The employer’s grievance decision: As soon as possible after the final grievance meeting, the employer should inform the employee of the outcome of their grievance and any action that the employer intends to take to resolve the grievance. The employer should remind the employee of their right to appeal.

  6. The employee’s right to appeal: If the grievance has not been resolved to the employee’s satisfaction they may appeal in writing to the line manager or HR (or another appropriate person), stating the grounds of appeal, within a certain timeframe from the date on which the grievance decision was given to the employee.

  7. The appeal meeting: The employer should hold an appeal meeting as soon as possible after receiving the employee’s written appeal. Where practicable, the appeal meeting should be conducted by a senior manager who has not been previously involved in the case.

  8. The final grievance decision after an appeal: As soon as possible after the appeal meeting, the employer should inform the employee of the final decision on the outcome of their grievance and any action that the employer intends to take.

The benefits of using this grievance policy template

Now to the good bit. Here are some of the key advantages to your business of using this grievance policy template:

  1. Reduces risk of successful employment tribunal claims: A robust and strictly followed grievance policy is certainly a powerful defence mechanism for any employer. It will give your organisation the best chance of receiving, investigating, and resolving grievances in accordance with employment law principles and mitigate the probability of a successful employment tribunal claim in response to the handling of a grievance.

  2. Encourages a positive relationship with employees: An employer’s approach to grievances will impact its reputation with both existing staff and ex-employees. A fair grievance policy will create better morale among existing staff (motivated to support the company’s success if they believe it treats staff fairly). A fair approach to grievances also reduces the chances of ex-employees posting negative reviews about the employer (e.g. www.glassdoor.com).

Enhance your grievance process with letter templates

In addition to our comprehensive grievance policy template, we also offer two essential grievance letter templates to streamline your grievance management process:

  • Grievance meeting letter: This template serves as an invitation letter for a grievance meeting in response to an employee's raised concern. It provides a clear confirmation of the meeting date, attendees, and location for the initial discussion with the employee.

  • Grievance outcome letter: Our outcome letter template is designed to confirm the grievance's resolution in writing, ensuring transparency and clarity. It also outlines the steps an employee can take if they disagree with the outcome, facilitating a fair and effective dispute resolution process.

These letter templates are valuable tools to help you maintain a structured and compliant approach to addressing employee grievances. They simplify communication, ensuring that both employees and employers have a clear understanding of the grievance process. Incorporate these templates into your grievance procedure for a more efficient, well-documented and organised handling of workplace concerns.

The action points – Docue's grievance policy template

So for all those employers who don’t have a written grievance policy/procedure in place, we strongly suggest you put it in the urgent section of your to-do list. It is a minimum legal requirement for all employers to have one.

Alongside the compliance issue above, delaying the implementation of a written grievance policy/procedure could damage two of your most important assets (your staff morale and your reputation!).

Check out our dynamic lawyer-drafted grievance policy template now. Our smart template builder technology and built-in drafting guidelines will allow you to create a grievance policy bespoke to your organisation in a matter of clicks. Yes, it’s really that simple!

Sign up with Docue today and see just how easy it is.

Tags: grievance policy template, grievance policy, grievance procedure, employee grievance

Legislation GB-EAW
Topics Updated by a lawyer: 4 Apr 2024

Docue gives you access to 130+ high-quality legal templates drafted and maintained by UK lawyers. Trusted by 40,000+ companies.

"We needed an instant fix for writing contracts and looked around at alternatives, but Docue was superior. Easy to engage with and a wide range of templates."

Darrell Arnold

Founder & CEO, Servicedek

"Docue gave us professional contracts that we know are legally written, and cover us in a way that's easy for a non-expert to understand."

Andrew Cowen

Chief Commercial Officer, Komerz