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Respond to complaints with the Acas step-by-step guide

Being prepared for the worst is not the same as being pessimistic. On the contrary, through preparation you can be optimistic that the worst is unlikely to happen. When it comes to dealing with complaints at work from employees, also commonly known as 'grievances', this is especially true.

Complaints can often be resolved with a quiet word, but if the employee isn't satisfied with that, you'll need to take a fair, formal and methodical approach to sort the matter out, sticking to the pdf icon Acas Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance [167kb].

To help employers, particularly in small and medium-sized businesses with limited HR resources, and managers and supervisors generally, Acas has broken down the process of dealing with a complaint into a series of practical steps for quick and easy reference.

It's a useful prompt to have alongside the Code and your organisation's formal grievance procedure. It includes an example real-life situation, a legal check, frequently asked questions - and busts the myth that having a formal grievance procedure is enough to keep matters out of an employment tribunal.

To complement Managing a complaint at work: A step-by-step guide, Acas has produced other such guides and Help for small firms, covering recruitment and induction, contracts, absence and getting the best out of your staff.

Related Acas training courses include those on issues of Discipline and grievance, Having difficult conversations and how to conduct fair and effective Investigations.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects page for more information.

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