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Help for small firms

Managing a complaint at work: A step-by-step guide

Managing a complaint at work - Step 3

Holding the grievance meeting

  • The manager chairing the meeting should ask both parties to:
    • state their case
    • call witnesses
    • say how they would like the problem to be resolved.
  • Remember that during a grievance meeting:
    • the parties might come to an amicable solution. Having sat down together and had the chance to express how they feel, misunderstandings can often be cleared up.
    • employees may need a little time to "let off steam" before they get to the point. But they should not use abusive language or threatening behaviour.
    • as the chair, you need to stay calm and be as fair and objective as possible in resolving the matter.
  • Be prepared to adjourn the meeting if new facts emerge that need investigation, and agree a date for the meeting to resume.
  • Once all the evidence has been heard, the manager chairing the meeting should:
    • sum up the main points
    • and tell the employee when they can expect a decision in writing, normally within 24 hours.

It is usually advisable not to make a snap decision at the meeting, but give some time for reflection afterwards.

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