Employee Grievance

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Chapter - 4 Employee Grievance by Mohammed Quadir Mohiuddin Faculty of HR IBRI College of Technology Sultanate of Oman :

Chapter - 4 Employee Grievance by Mohammed Quadir Mohiuddin Faculty of HR IBRI College of Technology Sultanate of Oman

Introduction :

Introduction A grievance is a complaint by an employee that something in the management’s behavior has breached his or her employment rights and that he or she is unhappy about it. It may be real or it may be the result of a misconception or a misunderstanding. In either case, settling it quickly and effectively is important. To individuals concerned, their grievance is important. Employee grievances can be collective, in that a group of employees may have a common complaint relating to their employment or an individual may have a grievance which has collective implications. All the employees in an office, for example, may complain that the temperature is too high or too low.

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A grievance may be felt by a group as well as an individual and in case if left unresolved, it may develop into a major collective dispute involving a trade union. All employee grievances have the potential to damage the quality of an organization’s employee relations, quality of life of its employees and thereby its competitive position .

The Grievance Procedure :

The Grievance Procedure The grievance procedure provides the means whereby individual employees process their complaint against management behavior. Procedures for dealing with grievances are to be found in organizations which operate without trade unions as well as in those that operate with them.

The purpose of grievance procedure :

The purpose of grievance procedure A grievance procedure benefits employees because with one in operation they know where they stand and they know what to expect. The purpose of the procedure is to: ensure that fair and consistent treatment of employees reduce the risk of unpredictable action clarify how grievances will be dealt with maintain a good employee relations environment help the employer to avoid disputes or costly litigations

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In managing employee complaints, management is guided by a number of principles, such as: 1. Fairness, 2. Consistency, 3. Representation and 4. Promptness.

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The grievance procedure ensures the right of employees to complain if they feel aggrieved and if they exercise this right, to be treated in a fair & reasonable manner in accordance with procedural rules. A grievance procedure provides ‘order & stability’ in the workplace by establishing standards of behavior & due processes to resolve grievances in a peaceful & constructive manner.

The form of a procedure :

The form of a procedure The form of grievance procedures varies immensely. In a small establishment , the procedure is likely to be written into an employee’s contract of employment, where the following language would be typical: If you have a grievance relating to your employment, you should raise it with your immediate supervisor. In larger organizations a grievance procedure is likely to be constituted by a clause in a collective agreement, where a typical wording might be: If you have any grievance relating to your employment, you should raise it with your immediate supervisor. If the matter is not settled at this level, you may pursue it through the grievance procedure agreed between the company and the trade union representatives. Further, details of such procedural agreements are maintained separately in writing and may be consulted on request to management.

Stages of Grievance Procedure :

Stages of Grievance Procedure There are number of stages in a typical grievance procedure. Common factors to all the stages are: The spelling out of the details of who, is to hear the case (the departmental manager; managing director) and the individuals to be present (the personnel manager, the line manager and the employee concerned), including who can represent the employee (a colleague, friend). An explanation of any appeal mechanisms available to employees at that stage. A definition of the time-limit within which the stage must be completed. Information about what will happen next if the grievance is not resolved or remains unsettled at that stage.

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The first stage is invariably one in which any employee who feels that he or she has a complaint against management should, in the first instance, raise it with his or her immediate manager. If that manager is unable to resolve it, the parties move on to the second stage. Second Stage of the procedure, which means that the employee finds a representative who then represents him in taking up the complaint to the appropriate level of management. If the complaint still remains unresolved, the third stage is entered. In the third stage the employee and the representative take their case to higher levels of management. If there is no resolution of the problem at this stage, the problem moves to the fourth stage .

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In the thi In unionized establishments at this fourth stage , the union becomes involved. If a resolution still eludes the parties, the formal procedure may be exhausted – which may effectively mean that all that can be done on the matter without going to a tribunal or to the court has been done. However, in case of a ‘collective grievance’, The fifth stage may get involve. It involves an external party such as independent arbitrator or conciliator or a regional trade union official. The aim of the grievance procedures is to reach a resolution to the employee’s complaint as quickly as possible but without undue haste. Although defined stages through which a grievance can be processed are essential, there is no ideal number of stages. But too many stages prolongs the process and is in conflict with the principle of resolving grievances as quickly as possible and as close as can be to their origin.

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