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Workplace complaints and how to handle them.

You may have received a complaint from an employee.  This always poses a question of how to handle it and when and how should it be escalated.

Over the last few weeks we have seen some big public companies make headlines for how they have handled workplace complaints.  It can be tricky – here is HR Gurus guide on how to handle workplace complaints:

If your employee makes a formal complaint, as an employer you have a formal obligation to investigate under your duty of care.  You are required to ensure the workplace is a safe and healthy environment for all employees.  Under WHS legislation, if a risk is identified the employer is obligated to assess the risk and take measures to alleviate.

What is best practice?

The key is making sure procedural fairness is followed.  It is important that your business has a grievance or complaints handling policy.  This will outline the steps to follow to ensure you are meeting your employer obligations.

Always ensure you give the employee 24 hours’ notice about the meeting, the nature/agenda of the meeting and the opportunity to bring a support person.  Make sure you allow the employee the opportunity to provide a considered response to the allegations.

Top tips for Workplace complaints

  • Take all complaints seriously
  • Everyone has a right to be treated with respect
  • Treat all grievances and complaints will be confidentially
  • Employees have several avenues they can take if their complaint isn’t being taken seriously.
  • Investigations will be conducted fairly and justly. Accordingly, the person against whom the allegation is made has the right to know what is alleged against them and the right to put their case in reply.

If you need help with workplace complaints HR Gurus can help.  Call 1300 959 560 and one of our highly qualified HR Consultants can assist.

Written by resident HR Guru Natalie Bol

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