Grievance Procedure

What do you do if you have a grievance or a problem at your workplace? For example, your employer insists on a change of your roster, leaving you with no one to care for your young children, or, you haven’t been paid for all the hours that you worked last week and the pay office is refusing to fix it. What do you do?

Well this is where you need to consult your ‘Grievance Procedure’, also known as a ‘Dispute Procedure’. The procedure is located in your Enterprise Agreement or Award.

A Grievance/ Dispute Procedure is a process which must be followed by Employees or Employers in the event of a grievance/dispute arising in regard to your employment. If you ever have an issue at your work please give the SDA office a call and we can assist you in following the procedure to get the best outcome possible. Also, if you are hesitant to raise a dispute out of fear of reprisal then please contact us so that we can give you confidential advice and assistance and inform you of your rights.

Additionally, it is important to locate the procedure in your Enterprise Agreement or Award to ensure that you are complying with the procedure as failing to follow it is regarded as a breach of the terms of the Agreement/Award.

The Procedure, at first point usually requires the employee to raise the grievance with their line manager, department or store manager. Obviously, this varies from procedure to procedure, dependent upon the size of the store and management structure.

Importantly, as a matter of common sense, employees should note that if the grievance pertains to a person mentioned in the grievance procedure such as the store manager (for example, you are being bullied/harassed by your store manager) then you are NOT expected to go to your store manager as the procedure states, but skip straight to the next level of the procedure. This ensures that you have a third (more senior and independent) person to deal with your complaint, rather than having to raise a complaint with the alleged perpetrator.

Please locate your Grievance Procedure in your Enterprise Agreement or Award and familiarise yourself with the process to ensure that any matters you take issue with at present, or in the future, are dealt with in a way which is consistent with the procedure. This will ensure your protection as you are doing the right thing. Additionally, please give the SDA office a call or an email so that we can talk with you and ensure that you are following the procedure with the best advice. SDA officials deal with disputes on a daily basis so we are well-versed in how to follow the procedures. SDA officials and delegates are also recognised representatives in most grievance procedures.

Should you have any questions about your grievance procedure, or require advice or assistance with a current grievance, or any other employment related matter, contact the SDA’s helpline on 1300 SDA HELP (1300 732 4357) or by email secretary@sdan.org.au

It is important to remember you can phone the Union for confidential advice and assistance at ANY stage. We are here to help!

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