Handling Grievance at the Workplace

What is a Grievance? 
A grievance is where an employee is aggrieved with a fellow employee or with management on matters pertaining to the employment or working environment. (Guideline to Grievance Procedure in Schedule to Code of Good Practice, GN 42 of 2007)

What types of Grievance handling procedures are there?

There are two types of grievance-handling procedures: 

Informal and Formal

i. Informal Grievance Processing: 

An employee will discuss/seek an informal problem resolution with his/her problem with his/her respective immediate superior and allows the latter sufficient reasonable time to address the problem and report back to the employee. If the grievance specifically involves the Supervisor, the Employee will discuss the problem with the next level of Management as per the following chain of command:
The Supervisor or higher-level Manager will investigate the complaint and take steps to resolve the problem within the time agreed. Supervisors and Managers are strongly encouraged to resolve grievances within the Department. The Supervisor or higher-level Manager will document the issue, steps taken to attempt to resolve the problem, and the outcome. A written response will be presented to the Employee and advised to the HR Department. Should the Employee believe that the problem has not been resolved within the Department, s/he can institute formal grievance procedures.

ii. Formal Grievance Procedure
Stage 1

  • An Employee may lodge a grievance in writing and suggest a possible remedy in the prescribed formal grievance form to Human Resources Department.
  • Also, the Manager who dealt with the grievance in the informal grievance stage must fill in the steps taken to resolve the grievance, comment, and suggested remedies.

Stage 2

  • Once the formal grievance form is received, Human Resource Manager will invite the aggrieved employee to attend a grievance meeting
  • The period for resolving the problem must be set by the two parties.
  • The grievance procedure will be exhausted after the submission of the stage 2 written solution and will be final.

What is the procedure for grievance hearings?

  1. When a grievance is lodged, an investigation will be carried out by Management into the facts of the case in preparation for the hearing.
  2. The time, date, and venue for the hearings will be agreed to by all parties concerned within the relevant time periods. The parties may agree to reasonable extensions of the time periods if this is considered necessary.
  3. The Employee who lodges the grievance may be represented by a fellow employee of his or her own choice and will be entitled to the services of an interpreter if required.
  4. The Chairperson of the grievance hearing will take responsibility for the fair conduct of the hearing. In this respect, he or she will ensure that:
  • All relevant information is made available to the parties at the hearing for consideration.
  • All relevant witnesses that parties may wish to call are notified in advance to be available at the time of the hearing.
  • The Employees and the Company or their representatives have an opportunity to present their cases fully and to ask questions of each other’s witnesses.
    Minutes of the hearing is taken in summary form.
  • The Chairperson of the hearing will submit his/her written solution to the Manager of the Business Unit (or equivalent)

Contracts of Employment in Tanzania