Acas, in its Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures (which was republished in March 2015), states that grievances are “concerns, problems or complaints that employees raise with their employers”. As well as grievance procedures, the Code covers disciplinary rules and procedures, gross misconduct, dismissal, appeals and the right for workers to be accompanied at formal grievance (and disciplinary) hearings.

Put more simply, a grievance is a dissatisfaction felt by an employee about any aspect of work. Employers and employees have different aims, and no workplace is devoid of grievances. The presentation of a grievance is an employee’s way of expressing dissatisfaction with some aspect of the workplace in the hope of having it put right. A grievance procedure therefore has the aim of resolving problems that occur in the workplace.

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