Grievance policy and procedure

Published: 27 June 2017
Freedom of information class: How we manage our resources

Information on our grievance policy and procedure.


The purpose of the grievance policy is to ensure all employees have access to a procedure to deal with work related grievances fairly and consistently.


This policy applies to all employees of RoS, and should be used to manage any formal employee complaints.


  • There is a responsibility on both RoS and the employee to raise and deal with issues promptly
  • Employees should raise a grievance within 3 months of the ‘incident’ having happened
  • Facts will be established quickly
  • Employees can be accompanied at all stages in the process by a trade union representative or work colleague
  • Employees have the right to appeal against any formal decision made
  • All employees involved in the grievance process must maintain confidentiality
  • Grievances submitted will be assumed to have been made in good faith. In the event of spurious or malicious complaints/allegations being made by employees, such employees may be subject to disciplinary action.

Raising a grievance

Employees should, in the first instance, raise any issues or concerns informally with their line manager. If this approach fails to provide a satisfactory outcome then employees should put their grievance formally in writing, at the earliest opportunity, to their line manager. If the grievance relates to the line manager, then it should be submitted to a more senior manager.

The written grievance should provide factual information relating to the nature of the complaint including relevant information i.e. specific dates, examples, names of individuals involved, and also outline the employee’s view on how the issue could be resolved. Employees are encouraged to use the format at appendix A.

Before the grievance meeting

The employee will be formally invited to attend a grievance meeting. The letter will provide details of:

  • The date, time and location of the meeting
  • The employee’s right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or work colleague if they wish

Managers, employees and trade union representatives (where appropriate) are encouraged to liaise and co-ordinate diaries when arranging a hearing to ensure that matters are progressed quickly and with minimum delay.

The grievance meeting

The purpose of the grievance meeting is to provide the employee with the opportunity to clearly outline their complaint; and to provide the employer with the opportunity to deal with the complaint.

The hearing will be chaired by an appropriate manager who will encourage open discussion about the issue. The chairperson will listen to both parties, ask questions, seek clarification and, if necessary, arrange for further investigation to establish the facts.

Employees are entitled to be accompanied at the grievance meeting by a trade union representative or work colleague. The companion has the right to address the hearing, sum up the employee’s case and confer privately with the employee during the meeting. They are not entitled to respond to questions on the employee’s behalf.

After the grievance meeting

The chairperson will assess all relevant information and evidence prior to advising the employee, in writing, of the outcome.  Depending on the complexity of the grievance a decision may not be reached on the same day but will be made as promptly as possible.


Grievance not upheld:

The employee will be informed in writing that their grievance has not been upheld. The letter should clearly set out the reason for this decision.

Grievance upheld:

The employee will be informed in writing that their grievance is upheld and what form of action will be taken.

Appeal process:

Employees have the right to appeal against the outcome of the grievance meeting.
The appeal must be in writing and submitted within 10 working days of the date of the decision letter and state the reason for their appeal. If the employee wishes to present additional evidence to support their case, then this must be provided to the Appeals Chairperson at least 2 working days in advance of the appeal hearing.

The appeal will be held by an appropriate manager. To ensure an impartial approach the Chair of the appeal and the Chair of the original grievance meeting cannot be the same person.

The employee will be notified in writing of the proposed date, time and location of the appeal hearing and of their right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or work colleague. If the chosen companion is unable to attend on the proposed date, then the employee is entitled to request a postponement. The rearranged date should be within 5 working days of the initial date proposed.

At the appeals meeting the employee will be asked to present their case to the Appeals Chair.

The decision of the appeal meeting is final. The employee will be notified in writing of the decision, typically within 10 working days.