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Topic: Grievances

Grievance investigation plan
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Grievance investigation plan

Grievance investigation plan

Creating an investigation plan for an appointed grievance investigation manager can provide them with a structured approach to follow when conducting their investigation.

Appointment of investigation manager

Where an employee has raised a grievance, you’ll need to appoint an investigation manager to investigate it. Who you appoint as the investigation manager may depend on the seriousness or complexity of the issues. For more serious or complex matters, you should appoint someone with a sufficient level of seniority, experience and training. In more simple cases, it can be a line manager who isn’t personally involved in the issues being investigated. Do first check though that they’re going to be available during the proposed timeframe for the investigation. Also, give them adequate time away from their normal job duties so as to ensure that they do a thorough investigation job.

Investigation plan

Using our Grievance Investigation Plan can help the investigation manager focus on what facts need to be established and what evidence needs to be collected. It can also ensure that the investigation is completed within the provisional timescale set. Our plan comprises a series of boxes to be completed, covering such matters as:

  • the terms of reference for the investigation and the provisional timescale
  • what policies and procedures need to be reviewed or followed and what specific issues need to be explored or clarified
  • what evidence needs to be collected and from where - the investigation manager should also consider any time constraints here, such as a witness going on annual leave
  • whether any persons need to be interviewed, who they are and in what order they should be interviewed – it’s normal to start by interviewing the employee who raised the grievance first, so that the investigation manager fully understands their grievance, followed by any employees who are under investigation and then any witnesses
  • what the arrangements are to be for conducting the interviews – these should normally take place in a private room at an employee’s workplace during their normal working hours unless, for confidentiality reasons, it may be preferable to hold them elsewhere or outside working hours. In addition, staff should be given advance written notice that you want to interview them and/or that they’re under investigation (in the latter case, see our Letter Informing Employee of Grievance Against Them).

We’ve also included two boxes enabling deadline dates to be set for completion of the interviews and for collection of any other evidence. The investigation manager should be prepared to modify their plan (including the provisional timescale) as and when further possible sources of evidence come to light that may be relevant to the investigation. If there are going to be any delays though, make sure the employee who raised the grievance is kept informed.

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