8 things to include in your dispute resolution procedures

By Charles Power on June 13th, 2018
  1. Bullying, Harassment & Discrimination
  2. Discrimination in the workplace


As an employer you are vicariously liable for the actions of your employees during work hours or in other work-related circumstances. So if an employee grievance or dispute escalates to a legal claim, the way you managed the initial complaint will affect your business’s liability.

That’s why you should have in place a sound resolution processes to effectively manage employee grievances and disputes.

This will help you to avoid costly legal proceedings by resolving issues before they escalate.

For example, if you provide a clear and effective procedure for raising grievances, you will reduce your legal liability in the following areas:

  • FW Act general protections;
  • sexual harassment and discrimination; and
  • work health and safety.

What to include in a grievance or dispute resolution procedure

A grievance or dispute resolution procedure should explain the following things:

  1. The types of matters that can be dealt with under the procedure.
  2. How an aggrieved employee can get advice, information, support and representation to participate in the procedure.
  3. The steps that will be taken to try to resolve the grievance or dispute by agreement between the employee and the other party.
  4. The timeframes for taking these steps.
  5. The steps that will be taken if the grievance or dispute cannot be resolved by agreement.
  6. Who will make decisions about the matter if it cannot be resolved by agreement.
  7. What capacity there is to appeal or review any decision made about a matter not resolved by agreement.
  8. Rules about how the parties are to conduct themselves throughout the procedure, including:
    • being impartial;
    • acting in good faith, i.e. sincerely, honestly and genuinely;
    • being cooperative;
    • acting promptly; and
    • not disrupting work.

If you’re after more information and grievance procedures and related legislation, make sure you read the E6 – Employee Grievances and Disputes chapter in the Employment Law Practical Handbook. It’s written in plain English by the workplace relations experts at Holding Redlich – and you can get a copy to read on an obligation-free trial today. Contact us now!


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