Grievance Guide

LAST UPDATE: 22.08.22

How to create non-punitive grievance procedures which deepen our understanding of each other

By People Support Coop & RadHR


What does it mean to raise a grievance? This guide covers ways to create grievance procedures that hear different perspectives while avoiding shame and blame, so that we can strengthen rather than corrode the bonds between us.

Practical suggestions to create a grievance procedure rooted in mutual support and accountability. 

Section 1:


What a grievance process looks like in progressive, less-hierarchical organisations to formally respond to concerns raised by employees.

Section 2:

What does the law say?

The laws you need to be aware of when designing a fair procedure.

Section 3:

What’s wrong with standard grievance procedures?

Why the term grievance can be problematic, and how it can reduce co-operation, solidarity and mutual support. 

  • Hierarchy: Why standard procedures can be problematic for those of us in non-hierarchical organisations.
  • Impartiality: Why ‘impartiality’ can be a difficult concept in progressive organisations. 
  • Confidentiality: How to balance confidentiality with openness. 

Section 4:

What to include in a grievance procedure

An overview of the main elements that need to be included in a legally-fair, values-based grievance procedure.

  • Informal approach: Setting out how your organisation can practise open and honest communication and supportive ways of working to prevent serious conflicts developing. Getting this right means we rarely need to move to a formal process.
  • Raising a formal grievance: Understanding the process when we need to ‘press the serious button’.
  • Grievance hearing: What to expect in a formal grievance meeting.
  • Investigation: How to fairly investigate a grievance.
  • Appeal: The final stage of a formal process.