This is the second of two chapters about ‘Fairness at Work’. Grievance procedures exist to ensure that dissatisfied employees have an opportunity to seek redress in relation to an issue that they are not happy about, to prevent an escalation of the problem or — in extreme cases — the departure of the employee. They are there as an important contribution to people management, in so far as they enable staff to have a voice and to insist on being heard in relation to matters that are causing them some degree of concern. Ideally we should be aiming for a situation in which the existence of grievance procedures gives an important message that staff concerns will be taken seriously, but they are rarely if ever used as the other mechanisms for supporting staff are working well enough to ensure that staff do not feel the need to pursue a grievance.
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