Grievance procedures are a means of dispute resolution that can be used by a company to address complaints by employees, suppliers, customers, and/or competitors. A grievance procedure provides a hierarchical structure for presenting and settling workplace disputes.
Definition of Grievance procedure
The concept grievance procedure has been defined in several ways by different authorities. Some of the definitions are as follows:
Beach defines a “grievance as any dissatisfaction or feeling of injustice in connection with one’s employment situation that is brought to the notice of the management.”
Flippo indicates the grievance procedure as “a type of discontent which must always be expressed.”a Grievance procedure is usually more formal in character than a complaint. It can be valid or ridiculous, and must grow out of something connected with company operations or policy.
Grievance procedure must involves an interpretation or application of the provisions of the labour contract”
The model grievance procedure suggested by the national commission on labour has provided for the successive time bound steps each leading to the next in case of lack of satisfaction.
Need for a Grievance Procedure
Grievance procedure is necessary for any organisation due to the following reasons:
Reason 1: Most Grievances seriously disturb the employee. This may affect their morale, productivity and their willingness to cooperate with the organisation. If an explosive situation develops, this can be promptly attended to if a grievance handling procedure is already in existence.
Reason 2: If it is not possible that all the complaints of the employee would be settled by first-time supervisors. For these supervisors may not have had a proper training for the purpose, and they may lack authority.
Reason 4: It serves as an outlet for employee gripes, discount and frustrations. The employee are entitled to legislative, executive and judicial protection and they get this protection from the grievance redressal procedure, which also acts as a means of upward communication.
The causes of Grievance Procedure
The causes of employee grievances include:
1. Demands for individual wage adjustments
2. Complaints about the incentive system
3. Complaints about the job classifications.
4. Complaints against a particular foreman.
5. Complaints concerning disciplinary measures and procedures.
6. Objectives to the general method of supervision
8. Disciplinary discharge or lay-off
9. Transfer for another department or another shift
10. Inadequacy of safety and health services/devices
11. Non-availability of materials in time
12. Violation of contracts relating to collective bargaining.
13. Improper job assignment
14. Undesirable or unsatisfactory conditions of work
15. Loose calculation and interpretation of seniority rules and unsatisfactory interpretation of agreements.
Pre-requisites of a Grievance Procedure
The efficiency of a grievance procedure depends upon the fulfillment of certain pre-requisities. These are as follows:-
- Conformity with prevailing Legislation
1. Conformity with prevailing Legislation
While designing the grievance procedure, due consideration must be given to the existing statutory provision.
In other words, the existing grievance machinery as provided by law may be made use of.
These should be clarity regarding each and every aspect of the grievance procedure. An aggrieved employee must be informed about the person to whom a representation can be made, the form of submission the time limit for the redressal of grievance etc.
The grievance procedure should be simple. Every employee must understand different stages of the procedure, the forms to be filled up, and the witnesses required etc.
If there are too many stages in the procedure, too many forms to be filled up, too much going around etc., the very purpose is defeated. Instead of resorting to the formal procedure, an employee may ignore it.
The promotions with which a grievance is processed adds further to the success of the grievance procedure. Since justice delayed is justice denied, the procedure should aim to rapid disposal of the grievance.
The success of the procedure also depends upon imparting training to the supervisors and union representatives in handling grievances.
The successful working of a grievance procedure depends upon a proper follow-up by the personal department.The department should periodically review the procedure and introduce the essential structural changes making it more effective.
At last words, An effective procedures provides employees with a mechanism to resolve issues of concern. The grievance procedure may also help employers correct issues before they become serious issues or result in litigation.