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What Is Grievance Investigation?

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In the workplace, conflict or concerns between employees and employers can arise, and it is important to address them promptly and effectively. Grievance investigation is a formal procedure that organisations undertake to resolve such conflicts or complaints. It is a crucial part of maintaining a positive work environment and ensuring fairness for all.

The investigation procedure involves a series of steps, including gathering evidence, interviewing involved parties, and making a decision. Employers must follow certain legal requirements when conducting a grievance investigation, such as allowing for the statutory right to be accompanied during the hearing.

Understanding the Role of HR for Small Businesses in the UK

Managing HR requirements is essential for the success of any small business in the UK. Entrepreneurs who take responsibility for implementing strong HR practices and procedures can avoid legal issues and preserve a positive work environment. But what makes HR so valuable for small businesses?

The answer lies in the various roles and responsibilities that HR performs. HR departments are tasked with managing employee relations, benefits, legal compliance, and more. For small businesses, however, managing HR can be challenging.

That’s where an outsourced HR company for small businesses comes in. By outsourcing HR functions, small business owners can free up their time, reduce overhead costs, and gain access to experienced HR professionals. These professionals can provide customised solutions that are tailored to each business’ unique needs, ensuring that the company remains compliant, while simultaneously increasing efficiency and productivity.

The Benefits of Outsourced HR Company

Benefits Outsourced HR Services for Small Businesses
Cost Savings Outsourcing HR can help small businesses save money on employee benefits, technology, office space, and more.
Expertise Outsourced HR providers offer specialised expertise in areas such as recruiting, training and development, employee relations, and more.
Flexibility Outsourced HR providers offer customised HR solutions that meet each business’s specific needs and requirements. This ensures that the business runs smoothly and effectively.
Time Savings Outsourcing HR functions frees up small business owners’ time, allowing them to focus on core areas of the business such as sales and marketing.

Small businesses in the UK require HR services that depend on the size, industry, and structure of their organisations. By partnering with an outsourced HR company for small businesses, entrepreneurs can ensure that their HR needs are met efficiently and effectively, freeing up time to focus on the business’s core objectives.

Exploring Outsourced HR Packages for Small Businesses

Outsourced HR services small business packages have become popular solutions for those needing to manage their HR needs effectively, especially ones that are still starting out. Outsourced HR packages for small businesses can offer a range of services, including:

  • Employee contracts and handbooks
  • Policies and procedures development
  • Performance management
  • Employee relations support

By using an outsourced human resources services for small businesses, entrepreneurs can save time and money while ensuring compliance with employment laws and regulations. Additionally, outsourcing can provide small businesses with access to HR experts who can offer advice and guidance on complex HR issues.

When choosing an outsourced HR company for small business, it’s important to consider factors such as cost, reputation, and experience. Comparing different options and services can help small businesses choose the package that best suits their requirements.

The Grievance Investigation Process

When a grievance has been raised, employers must follow a formal procedure to investigate and resolve the matter fairly. This section will guide employers through the HR grievance investigation process.

First, an investigatory meeting will be held to gather information and evidence related to the grievance. The employee should be notified of the right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative during this meeting, as per their statutory right to be accompanied. During the investigatory meeting, the employer should ask open-ended investigatory meeting questions, aimed at clarifying the facts and identifying key issues.

“It’s essential to establish the facts and identify the nature of the complaint through a fair investigatory meeting.”

Once the investigatory meeting has concluded, the employer should investigate the matter further and gather any necessary evidence. This may involve conducting further interviews with relevant parties or reviewing documentary evidence such as emails or timesheets.

At this point, the employer should be able to determine whether the grievance is substantiated and decide on the appropriate course of action. This may involve holding a formal disciplinary hearing or addressing the matter informally through mediation or coaching.

Remember, during the entire grievance investigation process, the employer must ensure they remain impartial and unbiased in their decision-making.

Investigation Meeting Questions

During the investigatory meeting, the employer should ask open-ended questions that allow the employee to provide an account of the events leading up to the grievance. Some examples of investigatory meeting questions include:

  • Tell me about the issue that’s caused you to raise a grievance.
  • Can you describe the behaviour of the individual(s) you have raised a grievance about?
  • Have you raised a concern with this person(s) before, and if so, what happened?
  • Can you provide any evidence to support the grievance you’ve raised, such as emails or witness statements?

Asking the right questions can help to establish the facts and resolve the grievance more effectively.

Preparing for and Conducting an Investigation Meeting

Conducting grievance investigations requires employers to follow specific procedures carefully. Below is the process of conducting an investigation meeting at work and how to prepare for it.

How to Prepare for an Investigation Meeting

To ensure a fair and effective investigation meeting, preparation is key. Consider the following tips:

  • Review the relevant company policies and procedures
  • Take detailed notes during the investigation process
  • Identify potential witnesses to support or refute the allegations
  • Prepare the questions that you will ask during the meeting

By following these guidelines, employers can ensure a thorough investigation process.

How to Conduct an Investigation Step by Step

An investigation meeting should be conducted in a structured and impartial manner. The following provides a step-by-step guide:

  1. Open the meeting by introducing all parties
  2. Explain the purpose of the grievance investigation and the process that will be followed
  3. Allow the employee to provide a detailed account of their grievances
  4. Ask open-ended questions to identify any witnesses or evidence that may support or refute the allegation
  5. Remind the employee of their statutory right to be accompanied during the meeting
  6. Thank all parties and inform them of the next steps in the process

Grievance Meeting Questions

It’s essential to ask the right grievance meeting questions during an investigation meeting to gather relevant information. Consider the following questions:

“Can you provide a detailed account of what happened?”

“Did anyone else witness the incident?”

“Do you have any evidence to support your claim?”

Grievance Investigation Questions

Employers must conduct a fair and impartial grievance investigation. Consider the following grievance investigation questions to ensure a comprehensive investigation:

“What led to the incident?”

“Were there any company policies that were breached?”

“What measures can be put in place to prevent a similar incident from occurring again?”

By following these steps and asking the right questions, employers can ensure a fair and effective grievance investigation process.


Effective grievance investigation procedures are essential for maintaining a positive work environment and addressing employee concerns in small businesses. By understanding the role of HR and outsourcing HR needs to a professional company, entrepreneurs can ensure that they are following appropriate procedures and avoiding any legal or HR pitfalls.

When conducting a grievance investigation, it is important to follow a step-by-step process and prepare thoroughly for investigatory meetings. By asking the right questions and allowing the employee to be accompanied during the process, employers can ensure a fair and impartial investigation.

In summary, by prioritising grievance investigation procedures and seeking professional HR support, small businesses can create a culture of fairness and respect in the workplace. So, it’s always better to be prepared and seek advice when needed to make the right decisions.


What is a grievance investigation?

A grievance investigation is a formal process to help employers resolve employee complaints. It involves conducting a thorough investigation to gather evidence and facts related to the complaint, as well as interviewing relevant parties. The purpose of the investigation is to determine if the complaint is valid and take appropriate actions to resolve the issue.

What is the purpose of grievance procedures within a workplace?

Grievance procedures provide a structured framework for addressing and resolving employee concerns or complaints within a workplace. They aim to ensure that employees have a fair and impartial process to voice their grievances and seek resolution. Grievance procedures promote transparency, accountability, and fairness within the organisation while maintaining a positive work environment.

What happens in a grievance meeting?

In a grievance meeting, the employee who has raised the grievance, along with any relevant witnesses or representatives, meet with the employer or a designated HR representative. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the grievance in detail, provide an opportunity for the employee to present their case, and allow the employer to gather relevant information and explore possible resolutions. The meeting should be conducted in a fair and respectful manner, ensuring that both parties have the opportunity to express their views.

What happens after an investigation meeting?

After an investigation meeting, the employer or HR representative will carefully review all the evidence and information gathered during the investigation process. They will assess the credibility of the evidence and consider the perspectives of all parties involved. Based on this analysis, a decision or verdict will be made, which may involve taking disciplinary action, implementing changes in policies or procedures, or providing appropriate remedies to address the grievance. The decision should be communicated to the employee in a clear and timely manner.

What are the statutory rights of an employee during a grievance investigation?

An employee has the statutory right to be accompanied by a colleague or a trade union representative during any formal grievance meetings or hearings. This right ensures that the employee feels supported and has someone by their side to provide assistance and help them present their case effectively. Employers must respect and uphold this right, as failure to do so can undermine the fairness and integrity of the grievance investigation process.

How to prepare for an investigation meeting?

To prepare for an investigation meeting, employers should review all relevant documentation, including the grievance complaint, any supporting evidence, and the company’s policies and procedures. It is essential to identify the questions to ask during the meeting to gather all necessary information. The employer should ensure that the meeting is conducted in a private and neutral location, allowing all parties to feel comfortable and free to express their views. Proper preparation helps ensure that the investigation is thorough and fair.

How to conduct an investigation step by step?

Conducting an investigation requires following a systematic and unbiased approach. The steps involved may include identifying the issues, gathering evidence, interviewing relevant parties, analysing the evidence, making an objective decision, and communicating the outcome to all parties involved. It is crucial to maintain confidentiality, impartiality, and professionalism throughout the investigation process.

What are some questions to ask in an investigation meeting or grievance meeting?

The questions to ask in an investigation meeting or grievance meeting depend on the specific details of the case. However, common questions to ask in a grievance meeting may include asking the employee to provide a detailed account of the grievance, requesting any supporting evidence, identifying witnesses, seeking clarification on specific incidents, and exploring potential solutions. It is important to ask open-ended questions and actively listen to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the situation.

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