WORKPLACE RELATIONS SPECIALISTS 
It’s essential that an organisation treats all employee grievances in the same fair manner and ensures that all managers are familiar with its grievance procedure. 
 
There are a number of additional factors to bear in mind when dealing with grievances concerning harassment. 
 
Handling grievances informally 
An employer should encourage individuals to discuss day-to-day issues informally with their line manager, so that concerns can be heard and responded to as soon as possible. 
 
Where this is unsuccessful, or circumstances make this route inappropriate, employers should consider using mediation or some other form of alternative dispute resolution such as ‘facilitated discussion’. 
 
Our report Conflict management: a shift in direction? shows that more employers are keen to encourage earlier resolution of conflict at work and many see formal procedures as the last resort. 
 
However, if individual disputes can’t be resolved by informal means, they should be raised formally through the grievance procedure. 
 
Handling grievances formally 
Employers should ensure that staff are aware of the formal route open to them through the grievance procedure, including: 
 
all stages of the Acas Code and any further elements of the organisation’s own procedures 
with whom to raise the complaint and appropriate sources of support 
timescales within which the organisation will seek to deal with the complaint 
the stages of the grievance procedure, for example how a complaint may be raised with the next level of management if a satisfactory resolution isn't reached. 
 
An employee or worker should have the right to be accompanied to grievance hearings by a colleague or trade union representative as explained above. 
 
As in disciplinary matters, record-keeping is important and the WRC Code should be followed. 
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