Grievance Procedure | Industrial Relationship

Grievance Procedure is another method of resolving disputes. All labour agreements contain some form of grievance procedure. And if the procedure is followed strictly, any dispute can easily be resolved.

In the meanwhile, a grievance may be understood as an dissatisfaction or feeling of personal injustice relating to his or her employment relationship. A grievance is generally well-defined in a collective-bargaining agreement. It is usually restricted to violations of the terms and conditions of employment. Other conditions which may give rise to a grievance are:

  • A violation of law.
  • A violation of the intent of the parties as stipulated during contract negotiations.
  • A violation of company rules.
  • A change in working conditions or past company practices.
  • A violation of health and\or safety standards.

When an employee believes that the labour agreement has been violated, he or she files a grievance. The grievance needs to be resolved according to a set procedure.

Grievance procedures generally establish the following:

  • How the grievance will be initiated ?
  • The number of steps in the process.
  • Who will represent each party ?
  • The specified number of working days within which the grievance must be taken to the next step in the hearing.

First stage: The aggrieved employee shall, first submit his writing to his ‘sectional Head’(nominated by the management from time to time for this purpose) in the prescribed form. The sectional head should study the grievance carefully with the least possible delay and the aggrieved employee should be given an opportunity to present his case in person if he requests for the same. If the employee so desires, he may take the assistance of co-worker or a union representative. A written reply shall be given to the employee before the end of the fifth working day, if reply is not given before the end of the fifth working day, the concerned officer should record reasons for the delay which should be communicated to the aggrieved employee.



Second stage: In case the said employee is not satisfied with the reply of the sectional head, or if the sectional Head fails to give a reply within the stipulated time as in First stage above, he shall be free to register his grievance in writing in the prescribed form with his departmental Head(nominated by the management from time to time for this purpose). Departmental head shall, , after careful study, give an opportunity to the concerned person to present his case before him, if the employee expresses a desire to be heard in person. The employee may be permitted to take the assistance of co-employee or a union representative of his choice at the time of personal hearing. The head of the department should study the grievance and the points brought out by the employee in the personal hearing and give a reply at the end of the fifth working day from the day receipt of such complaint.


Third stage: If the employee is not satisfied with the decision of the departmental head or if the latter fails to give any decision within the stipulated period, the employee will be entitled to lodge an appeal to the Divisional Head or any other officer nominated by the management for this purpose. This officer should also follow the same procedure as prescribed in stages I and II and a reply should be given before the end of the tenth working day. If the employee so desires, he may be permitted to take the assistance of a co-employee of his choice or an office bearer or Executive Committee member of the union at the time of personal hearing.

If the aggrieved employee is not satisfied with in decision head, he can refer the case to THE EMPLOYEES’UNION within 10 days. The union may discuss the subject if they deem fit, in the periodical management-union meetings which will be held within one month from the day, such reference is made by the union to the management.



  1. If the employee intends to take his case from one stage to another, he shall do so before the expiry of five days at stages I and II and 10 days at the stage III. If the employee is not on duty for any reason for any period that period will not reckoned for calculation the period.
  1. If the employee has to leave the department during working hours on call from any officer with reference to the grievance, prior permission of his immediate superior shall necessary be obtained.
  1. Officers handling grievances at stages I and II shall associated the concerned personnel officer of the division during discussions on the grievance of the employees. The officer at stage III shall associated Deputy Personnel Manager in the discussions and settlements.
  1. Acknowledgement for receipt of grievances including complaint should be given to the employee at every stage.
  1. The decision given in stages I,II and III in favour of an aggrieved employee will generally be implemented by the management.

Schedule and Procedure for Grievance Handling- Grievance to Officers:

  • Try to avoid problems in your department before they cause grievance.
  • Be a good listen. Evan though you feel that the aggrieved worker is wrong, listen patiently to his complaints. Find out what really is the basis of his dissatisfaction. Show interest in his problem.
  • Use a positive friendly approach. Avoid either aggressiveness or a defensive attitude.
  • Have patience, pounding the table and shouting does not settle anything.
  • Avoid personal consideration. What counts is not who is right, but what is right.
  • Remember that you and the employee will have to work together, so settle other issues in future.
  • Do not get upset or resort to threats. If you and the employee do not come to an agreement, there are further steps to settle the issue.
  • Appeal to the management’s interest. It is in their interest also, to have grievances settled satisfactorily and to keep the settle the issue.
  • Settle each grievance on its merit. Do not give up one grievances case in order to get a favor must live up to the terms of agreement.
  • Keep the aggrieved worker constantly informed as to what is being done about his grievance
  • After a decision has been reached on a grievance by the management and the concerned employee, ensure that the decision is carried out expeditiously.

There may be variations in the procedures followed for resolving employee grievances. Variations may result from such factors as organizational or decision-making structures or size of the plant or the company. Larger organizational do tend to have more formal procedures involving a succession of steps. Some general principles which should guide any procedure are:

  1. Grievance must be addressed promptly.
  1. Procedures and forms airing grievances must be easy to utilize and well-understood by employees and their superiors.
  1. Ego clashes should not be allowed to impede the resolution of disputes.
  1. Occurrence of similar grievances must be avoided.

HR-Professionals 12 Industrial Relationship 12


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