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Grievance Redressal System in Business Management

Categories: Business Management

Broadly, a grievance can be defined as any discontent of dissatisfaction with any aspect of the organization. It can be real or imaginary, legitimate or ridiculous, rated or unvoiced, written or oral, it must be however, find expression in some form of the other. Discontent or dissatisfaction is not a grievance. They initially find expression in the form of a complaint. When a complaint remains unattended to and the employee concerned feels a sense of lack of justice and fair play, the dissatisfaction grows and assumes the status of grievance.

Usually grievance relate to problems of interpretation of perceived non-fulfilment of one’s expectation from the organization. Aggrieved employees usually manifest defiant behaviour. The grievance procedure can be divided into two parts:

  • A formal grievance redressal process and
  • An informal process of grievance handling

All the employees of the Corporation fall under the broad purview of the grievance redressal system.

Handling grievances

There are three formal stages in which any grievance can be redressed.

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Each stage has a ‘form’ which is numbered according to whichever stage it belongs to. A grievance can be of any type ranging from problems regarding promotion to discharge and dismissal, and suspension but it is mandatory that the grievance should be work related and not personal. It is required that the grievance must fall under the following category to be considered one:

  1. Amenities
  2. Compensation
  3. Conditions of work
  4. Continuity of service
  5. Disciplinary action
  6. Fines
  7. Leave
  8. Medical benefits
  9. Nature of job
  10. Payments
  11. Promotions
  12. Safety environment
  13. Super Annuation
  14. Supersession
  15. Transfers
  16. Victimisation

The list is indicative and not comprehensive.

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The apparent because or sources of grievances may always be the real ones. There is need for deeper analysis of the policies, procedures, practices, structures and personality dynamics in the organization to arrive at the real causes of grievances.

Grievances stem from management policies and practices, particularly when they lack consistency, fair play and the desired level of flexibility. Grievances also may arise because of intra-personal problems of individual employees and union practices aimed at reinforcing and consolidating their bargaining, strength. The absence of proper two-way flow of communication can indeed be a fertile ground for breeding grievances.

Individual or Collective (Group) Grievances

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) defines a grievance as a complaint of one or more workers with respect to wages and allowances, conditions of work and interpretation of service, condition covering such areas as overtime, leave, transfer, promotion, seniority, job assignment and termination of service. The National Commission on Labour observed that “complaints” affecting one or more individual workers in respect of their wage payments, overtime, leave, transfer, promotion seniority, work assignment and discharge would constitute grievances.

It is important to make a distinction between individual grievances and group grievances. If the issue involved relate to one or a few individual employees, it needs to be handled through a grievance procedure, but when general issues with policy implications and wider interest are involved they become the subject matter for collective bargaining. Reasons for grievances Grievances occur for a variety of reasons: Economic Wage fixation, wage computation, overtime, bonus Employees feel they are getting less than what they ought to get.

Working Environment Poor working conditions, defective equipment and machinery, tools, materials. Supervision Disposition of the boss towards the employee perceived notions of favoritism, nepotism, bias etc. Work Group Strained relations or incompatibility with peers. Feeling of neglect, obstruction and victimisation.

Work Organisation

Rigid and unfair rules, too much less work responsibility, lack of recognition. Effects of Grievances Grievances can have several effects which are essentially adverse and counterproductive to organizational purposes.

The adverse effects include

  • Loss of interest in work and consequent lack of moral and commitment
  • Poor quality of production
  • Low productivity
  • Increase in wastage and costs
  • Increase in employee turnover
  • Increase in the incidence of accidents
  • Indiscipline
  • Unrest, etc.

Do’s and Don’ts in Grievance Handling – Check Lists All the points are not applicable to every case, but if the supervisor is familiar with all of them and observe them in his handling of grievances, he will be prepared for almost any kind of case that may arise.

Cite this page

Grievance Redressal System in Business Management. (2018, Aug 30). Retrieved from

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