Informal Grievance Guidance

This note provides guidance on dealing with grievances informally. 

Where possible grievances should be resolved informally.  Normally an employee will raise any issues with their direct line manager when they arise and in most cases it should be possible to resolve these issues locally at the time.  

Staff should be encouraged to raise any issues at an early stage as this give the opportunity to resolve them before they worsen and have an impact on the individual or staff morale.  Dealing with issues informally is more likely to result in a positive outcome, as once individuals are in a formal process there is a greater tendency for the situation to become more adversarial and for positions to become more entrenched.

Where an informal grievance or concern is raised with a manager they should endeavour to deal with the issue promptly.  Normally this would involve meeting with the individual to listen and understand their concerns and discuss potential resolutions.  It may also be necessary to carry out further informal investigation before coming to a conclusion and proposing a resolution.  At times it may be helpful to involve Human Resources and the individual’s representative in the discussions to identify a resolution.  Once an outcome is reached this should be discussed with the individual and then summarised briefly in writing.  It may not always be possible to achieve the desired resolution identified by the individual raising the issue.  If this is the case this should be fed back and the alternative outcome explained. 

For further advice on guidance on dealing with informal grievances contact your local HR team.