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Grievance Procedure and how is that different than redundancy procedure

Describe the grievance procedure. How it is different than redundancy procedure?

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Question asked by sanjaya_paudel

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angel profile image
Angel Paudel • Edited

A grievance is a formal complaint that is raised by an employee to the employer within the workplace. There are so many reasons for anyone to have grievance. Some reasons why one can have grievances includes supervisor treating his/her sub-ordinates improperly, dissatisfaction with regard to the salary, breach of contract, lack of promotions, harassment and discrimination in the employment (Walker & Hamilton, 2011).

Grievance procedure provides the path to handle grievances and provides the approach to use to deal with those grievances with policies about the same. The procedure in which grievances can be raised are as listed below (Armstrong, 2014):

  • The employee puts forth the concerns (grievances) to his or her immediate supervisor or the manager or the ombudsperson (if there’s one in an organization). The employee can also take one other employee along with him/her for sharing the grievance.
  • If the employee is satisfied with the decision, the case is closed. However, if the employee isn’t satisfied with the decision, he/she requests a meeting with the member of management who is in higher position than the one who initially heard the grievance. The meeting is attended by the manager, HR manager or business partner and is held within five days of the request. The employee can accompany his/her desired representative in the meeting against the initial decision of the grievance. The HR manager notes everything of the meeting and passes the report to everyone concerned once the meeting is over and decision made.
  • If the employee isn’t still satisfied with the decision, he/she can file another appeal which is heard within five days from the date of filing the complaint. This meeting is attended by the head of HR, the director, and the employee filing the complaint. He/she can also bring the desired representative in the meeting. The manager responsible for HR records the decision/result of the meeting and issues a written copies to everyone concerned.

On the other hand, redundancy is a situation in which the employer decides that an employee or employees can’t be offered alternative work and are surplus to organizational requirement (Armstrong, 2014). This can happen if the organization is downgrading due to losing out business or due to slow economy. It can also happen when the organization changes the way of operation like in a library within an organization, if they are currently just using the paper based books but now want to change it to all e-books, they may find that the staffs working in paper based books unit are surplus to requirement and depart with them. There will however be a certain notice period like a month or three provided to the employee about their departure from the organization. They’ll also be provided some form of compensation which isn’t provided if someone is terminated due to grievance.

Looking at both grievance and redundancy procedure, they vary in ways as mentioned above. To sum it up, grievance process is used as a way to find and resolve any problems. If the grievance is truthful, required actions are taken; if it includes another employee, it may result upto termination in which case the employee isn’t provided any compensation or a notice period which is done under redundancy. Redundancy takes place when the organization is downsizing, closing or changing the workflow and doesn’t include any fault of the employee.


Armstrong, L. A. (2014). A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, 13th Edition. Kogan Page Limited.

Walker, B., & Hamilton, R. (2011). Employee-Employer Grievances: A Review. International Journal Of Management Reviews , 13 (1), 40-58.

dipadhungana profile image

Grievance is an official statement of a complaint over something believed to be wrong or unfair. In an organizational context, it is the formal complaint raised by an employee towards an employer within the workplace that may result from breach of terms and conditions of employment contract, raises and promotions, harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
Grievance procedure is a means of dispute resolution that can be used by a company to address complaints by employees. It provides a hierarchical structure for presenting and setting workplace disputes. It is a step by step process an employee should follow to get his/her complaint addressed satisfactorily (Business Dictionary, n.d.).
A grievance procedure provides a channel for an aggrieved employee to express and present his grievance, an assurance for dispassionate handling of one’s grievance, an assurance about the availability of some machinery for prompt handling of grievance and a means by which an aggrieved employee can release his feelings of discontent or dissatisfaction with his job (Chand , n.d.).
The main stages for raising grievances as given by Armstrong are:

  1. The employee raises the matter with the immediate leader or manager. He can also opt for the company of a fellow employee.
  2. If the employee is satisfied with the decision of immediate supervisor, the grievance is handled. It the decision of immediate manager is not acceptable to the employee, he can call for a meeting with senior manager that takes place within five working days. The meeting is attended by the manager, human resource manager, the employee raising the matter and his representatives.
  3. If the senior manager is also not able in addressing the grievance, then meeting with director is held within five working days. The meeting is attended by director, head of human resource, the employee appealing and his representatives. The mangers should acknowledge the dissatisfaction of the employees, define the major cause of the dissatisfaction, find the relevant fact associated with the dissatisfaction, give decision by analyzing the facts and follow up the decision in order to address the grievance effectively (Shabana, n.d.). Redundancy is the state of being no longer in employment because there is no more work available. It is the situation when someone loses the job because his employers doesnot need him anymore due to closure or downsizing of the business and/or changes in the work process. Redundancy procedure aims to meet the strategy, ethical and practical considerations in dealing with such situation. In case of proposed redundancy, the employer should disclose the reasons for proposed redundancies, number and descriptions of employees affected, proposed method of selecting the employees who may be dismissed, proposed method of carrying out dismissals and ways of calculating redundancy payment (Acas, n.d.).

Depending on the size and nature of the organization, the redundancy procedure consists of the following elements as stated in Acas:

  • Introduction statement of intent towards maintaining job security, wherever possible

  • Details of the consultation arrangement with trade unions and employee representatives

  • Measures for minimizing or avoiding compulsory redundancies

  • General guidance on selection criteria

  • Details of severance terms

  • Details of relacation expenses and appeal procedures

  • Policy on helping redundant employees obtain training or search for alternative work.

The grievance is subjective and different according to the employees whereas redundancy is more of a organization’s business. The grievance handling focuses on solving the problems faced by individual employee while redundancy aims on solving the problems of the organization as a whole. So the redundancy preocedure is more time comsuming than the grievance procedure. The grievance procedure aims on addressing the employee’s issue to motivate them to work by making them feel valued. On the other hand, redundancy procedure aims on sustaining the organization by laying off certain number of employees.

Acas. (n.d.). Redundancy Consultation and Procedure . Retrieved from Redundancy procedure: acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4256

Armstrong, M. (2012). Armstrong’s Hnadbook of Human Resource Mangement Practice. London: Kogan Page.

Business Dictionary. (n.d.). Grievance Procedure . Retrieved from Definition: businessdictionary.com/definition/...

Chand , S. (n.d.). Steps Involved in Employee Grievance Procedure . Retrieved from yourarticlelibrary.com/employee-ma...

Shabana, S. (n.d.). Grievance Handling Procedure . Retrieved from Steps, Need and Elements: businessmanagementideas.com/human-...

sachitabhattarai profile image

In simple terms, a grievance is a complaint about the injustice behaviour done to the employee in a workplace. It refers to any type of problems in the work environment related to the safety, development or training, allocation of leave, duration of work, performance appraisal, promotion or salary/wages.

According to (Armstrong, 2012), “It is the policy of the company that employees should be given fair hearing by their immediate supervisor or manager concerning any grievances they may wish to raise.” Grievances procedure are the means for presenting and settling disputes at the workplace. It can also be part of collective bargaining. The procedures can be both formal and informal. Hence, Grievance procedures are a means of dispute resolution that can be used by a company to address complaints by employees, suppliers, customers, and competitors (Inc., n.d.). For example, an employee working for two years in an organization complaining to increase his/her salary and if not approved by the manager then he/she might leave the organization The Grievance procedure includes the following:

Discuss Complaint with Immediate Supervisor

The employee should first contact with their immediate supervisor because they are the ones whom they communicate daily. In this procedure, the manager discusses the issue with the person against whom the complaint is made and with the one making the complaint. The supervisors then try to resolve the issue between them. If the problem is not solved then the employee can move to step two.

Prepare and Submit Complaint Procedure Form to an HR Consultant for Review by Second-Level Supervisor

If the employee problem is not solved talking to the immediate supervisor, they can prepare a formal written complaint to the HR Consultant to whom their supervisors report. The investigation generally involves collecting information about the grievance and then making a finding based on the available information (College, 2016). For this, the employees prepare a Complaint Procedure Form and submit it to the HR Consultant.

Submit Complaint Procedure Form to Human Resource Director of HR Consultants for Review by Third-level Manager

If the employee is not satisfied with the decision of HR Consultant, he/she may submit the complaint to the Human Resources Director of HR Consultant for review within five days of the receipt of the decision of step two. A meeting will be held between the employee and the director within five business days. Then the director will issue a written decision within five business days of the meeting.

Submit Complaint Procedure Form for Final Appeal to the Appropriate-Level Vice President

The employee still has the chance to resubmit the complaint to the appropriate level Vice President responsible for their department or, for academic units, the Office of the Provost, within seven business days of receipt of the Step Three decision. The Vice President will provide the final written response within fourteen business days.

How is it different than redundancy procedure?

Redundancy Procedure, on the other hand, is defined as the situation in which management decides that an employee or employees are surplus to requirements in a particular occupation and cannot be offered suitable alternative work (Armstrong, 2012). A fair redundancy process should be followed for employees working for a longer period in the organization. For example, an employee working for 12 years in an organization is suddenly dismissed from the organization. At this very time, the employee has the right to ask the reason for his dismissal. People are redundant in following cases such as:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Pregnancy
  • Race
  • Trade Union Partnership

Redundancy in the workplace should be fair. Following are the procedures of redundancy:

  • The employer first need to send a letter including the reason behind the dismissing. The letter includes the reasons for redundancy. The meeting is arranged to discuss the matter. However, the power to decide on redundancies lies with employers (Wells, 2014)
  • The employee after sending the letter must hold a meeting with the employee and discuss the reasons behind the dismissal. This meeting can not take place until the employer has informed the employee about the dismissal. Here the employee must get sufficient time to prepare for his response to the information provided. In the meeting, the employer decides, if he/she wants the employee to exit or stay. After the meeting, the employer must communicate the result to the employee and notify him of his right appeal.
  • After the above two procedures, at final step the employer hold an appeal meeting if the employee appeals against his dismissal, and then inform the employee of its final decision. In this way, both Grievances and Redundancy are different from one another but important to follow the procedures.

Armstrong, M. (2012). Armstrong’s Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, 12th Edition. London: Kogan Page.

College, A. P. (2016). Stff Grievance Procedure. Executive Management Team.

Inc. (n.d.). Grievance Procedures . Retrieved from Grievance Procedures: inc.com/encyclopedia/grievance-pro...

Wells, P. (2014). Spill and Fill: A Fair Redundancy Process. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations Volume 39, No.3 .

shantamilan profile image

Grievance is bound to happen in an organizational setting with people having different perceptions modeled by the principles and experience that they have. Therefore, it is important for an HR manager to understand the procedures to handle grievance so as to manager situation before it gets out of hand. According to DeCenzo, “To handle the grievance, listen to the employee’s complaint, investigate the facts as best as you can, make your decision, and explain it clearly.” (DeCenzo & Stephen, 2010, p. 365) It is also important for a manger to understand not to be biased in the decision making process, be fair and analyze the situation based on facts rather than hearsay.

Armstrong (2012) in his book, has given 12 steps for grievance handling.

  1. Define the situation: The first step is to define the grievance situation. It is vital to understand what the problem before you can start your grievance handling.
  2. Specify Objectives: It is also clear on what is the final goal of the procedure. Without understanding what is the final objective the handling can be swayed and may lead to more confusion. For example in a sexual harassment case, it is important to understand that the procedure should find out if the case actually happened or was it fabricated.
  3. Develop hypothesis: As in the cases of a police investigation, they usually try and find a probable cause. Similarly, hypothesis based on preliminary understanding should be constructed.
  4. Get the facts: Grievance handling without facts is prone to bias and wrong conclusion. So you need to get the facts first.
  5. Analyze the facts: Analyze after you have facts. This may not be easy so you may have to talk with people and deduce learning to bring out factual information from the opinion stated or assumptions.
  6. Identify possible course of action: After the analyzing the facts you need to identify the possible course of action. This is usually based on the organization policy.
  7. Evaluate alternative course of action: Being a manager it is important to see a decision from various angles relating to its both good and bad implications to the organization.
  8. Weigh and decide: Find the best course of action that give the highest benefit. The most applicable and practical action must be chosen and decided on.
  9. Decide on the objective: Plan for the implementation of the decision. Set time frame and goal.
  10. Adopt a means-end approach where appropriate: Set step wise plan where each step defines meeting a specified objective leading up to the final goal of the implementation.
  11. Implement the plan: Prepare the execution plan of the decision implementation. Plan the time frame and any resources needed for its smooth execution.
  12. Implement: Implementation is the last step to the grievance handling process. It is important to review and monitor the progress of the implementation according to the plan for its success.

Redundancy occurs when employees lose their job due to business closure or downsizing in an organization. Redundancy procedure is related to the process of letting an employee go with clear discussion and certain amount of compensation.

It is also important to note that if you are offered a suitable alternative employment and you disagree then you will not be liable to get the redundancy compensation. The employer should however follow a fair procedure and invite you discuss on alternative employment and if it is feasible for you or else it will be considered unfair dismissal. (Buzzard, 2003)

According to Nepal’s Labour Act, Section 12, ‘Retrenchment and Reemployment’ explains that there needs to be at least a month’s notice indicating the reason for layoff. This shall be given to employees with at least one year of uninterrupted work. They will also be entitled to a month’s (30 day’s) salary for every year of service completed. It further states that any employee working for six months in any year, will also be granted the full compensation as mentioned above. Nepal Labour Act, 2048 (1992)

The difference between grievance procedure and redundancy procedure is that the grievance procedure is undertaken to find out what the problem is and how it can be settled. If the grievance is found to be true then proper procedures will be undertaken an the employee can be terminated without talking with them. Redundancy procedure takes place when the organization is closing or downsizing with no apparent fault of the employee.


Buzzard, R. (2003, July 31). Job cuts procedure. Evening Chronicle; Newcastle-upon-Tyne (UK) , p. 15. Retrieved from search.proquest.com/docview/349644...

DeCenzo, D. A., & Stephen, P. R. (2010). Handling a grievance. In S. R. David A DeCenzo, Fundamentals of Human Resource Management (pp. 364-365). United States of America: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Labour Act, 2048 (1992), Act No. 9, Chapter 2, Se. 12