What are some examples of a Grievance?

What are some examples of a grievance?

Common workplace grievances

Examples of a grievance is any concern, problem or complaint that a member of staff has in the workplace. They could be about another member of staff, management, working conditions, workloads. So there are no limitations on what a grievance could be about.

Pay and employee benefits grievances

If you are an employer or manager you may have had conversations with your employees about their pay and benefits. And they may not be happy with them. Perhaps they think they should be paid more. Or feel someone doing the same job as them is paid more. Perhaps they feel they should be paid expenses or receive more perks. These are examples of grievances.

Your organisation should have robust policies and procedures which outline pay and employee benefits and how and when you will conduct salary reviews. 

Bullying grievances

Unfortunately not everyone gets on with one another all the time. Occasionally this can turn into something more unpleasant and become bullying and harassment. 

There are very strict rules in place protecting individuals from bullying and harassment and your organisation needs to demonstrate zero tolerance. Again, your policies and procedures should outline this clearly and provide a framework for how to deal with any behaviour of this nature.

Working conditions grievances

Organisations must be considerate to their employees and make sure working conditions comply with British health and safety standards. In addition they must meet at least basic standards of hygiene. 

Risk assessments should take place regularly to assess the working environment and make sure it is a comfortable, clean and safe environment for people to work in.

Workload grievances

Often workloads can creep up without appropriate monitoring. Perhaps a member of staff has left and another is taking on their work. Or business is booming but you haven’t taken on more staff. When an employees workload is increased there should be a discussion about how this will benefit the employee. If there is no clear benefit to the employee there will likely be a grievance. 

What is a Grievance Procedure?

All businesses and companies must have an up to date grievance policy and procedure in place. This will outline exactly how grievances should be dealt with. This could be found in:

A company handbook

Human Resources manual

HR Internet site

Employment contract

The grievance procedure should outline clearly the steps which need to take place. importantly they include:

  1. The employee putting in writing their grievance – This letter should include details of the grievance. Perhaps it could include how they wish the matter be resolved. The letter should be dated and all parties should keep a copy. 
  2. A meeting set up to discuss the grievance – Firstly the manager must set up a meeting to discuss the grievance. Importantly, all parties must agree on a reasonable time and place and attend the meeting. Normally the meeting will involve going through the indues raised giving everyone the opportunity to comment. Ideally the meeting will establish facts and explore ways to resolve the problem. The meeting can be carried over into a second meeting if further information is required. The employee is entitled to be accompanied by another person such as a colleague or trade union official. 
  3. A decision – Clearly made with actions if necessary, within an acceptable, agreed timescale. 
  4. Appeal –  Employees have the right to appeal if they are not satisfied with the decision.


Engage in Learning provide an online Discipline and Grievance training course. This course will help learners understand policies and procedures, apply these in their work and know who to talk to if they have questions or concerns on the issue.

You can view our online Discipline and Grievance training course here.