Managing a complaint at work: a step-by-step guide

Office working sitting at his desk holding a piece of paper discusses a problem with another worker

As an employer you need to be prepared to have to deal with a complaint from someone who works for you. More formally this is known as a grievance and it could be to do with their work, where they work or who they work with.

Often the best way to deal with grievances is for the line manager to have a quiet word with the employee to try and settle the matter during the course of a normal working day. However, if that doesn’t work, you need to take action to sort out the matter formally:

Acas have produced a step-by-step guide for managing a complaint at work. It is aimed at small firms and is broken down into the following sections:

Getting prepared
Step 1: Look into the complaint
Step 2: Prepare for meeting
Step 3: The meeting
Step 4: Taking action
Step 5: Handling an appeal
Legal check
Real-life situation
True or false?

What does the * mean?

If a link has a * this means it is an affiliate link. To find out more, see our FAQs.