Grievance Handling

A grievance is defined as any real or imagined feeling of personal injustice that an employee has about the employment relations. – William B. Werther and Keith Davis ( 1996).

Grievance is a written complaint filed by an employee and claiming unfair treatment. – Yoder (1972)

Grievance is a complaint of one or more workers in respect of wages, allowances, conditions of work and interpretation of service stipulations, covering such areas as overtime, leave, transfer, promotion, seniority, job assignment and termination of service. – International Labour Organization (ILO)

Process of Grievance Handling
An effective grievance handling system will have well designed procedure, simple, fair, easy to understand, communicated to all, prompt and speedy, accepted by employees, designated authorities to handle grievance and must ensure natural justice to the aggrieved person. In this respect, there exists a conventional procedure to deal with grievances of employees that involves with the following steps:

1) Receiving the grievance: The aggrieved employee shall give in writing to the authorized person about his/her grievance. He/she may give it personally to the head or may give through registered post or through e-mail to the authorized person. The authorized competent person may be head of the respective section/department in which the aggrieved employee is working or head of the human resource department or head of the institution which is mentioned in the grievance handling procedure of the organization. This grievance may be received in writing or in oral presentation but it is better to receive grievance in writing.

If the grievance is related to any working condition, then the head will settle it by taking appropriate action. Then, other steps are dropped. But if the grievance is caused by the action of other employee, then the next steps will be followed.

2) Issuing show cause to the parties to explain his/her position in person / in writing: The involved parties will be issued a show cause notice to explain their position in person or in writing. The oral explanation will be recorded in writing.

3) Giving personal hearing: The head will take personal hearing of both the parties and therefore, he/she will give a specific venue, date and time to the parties to this effect. The personal hearing will be recorded. The involved parties will provide their arguments and records in their favour. The witnesses, if any, shall be examined. If necessary, they will be cross examined.

4) Examining the personal records of the employee: At this stage, personal records of the parties will be examined to verify their past activities. This will give an insight about the behavioural pattern of the employees involved with the given situation. This will help the head to understand the situation and the persons and to take appropriate corrective actions.

5) Consulting organizational and legal provisions: Human resource manager shall search organizational practices, legal provisions and court verdicts related to settle the concern grievance. We shall keep in mind that organisation shall maintain consistency in actions so far taken and conventionalized in the organisation over the years to avoid any further grievance.

6) Taking appropriate action. After careful consideration of nature of grievance, evidences, testimonies, organizational practices, and legal provisions, human resource manager /authorized person will take most appropriate action to settle the grievance. There shall be no discrimination in actions and shall maintain equity and consistency in action to make the person satisfied and to keep the organisation fair.

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