Grievance Procedure

29 Sep 2010 Alex Hastings    Last updated: 4 Jul 2014

This article outlines NICVA’s policy regarding grievance procedures.

There will be occasions on which individual employees may feel aggrieved about an aspect of their work, working conditions or conditions of service. This Grievance Procedure is designed to ensure that all NICVA employees have a fair and consistent means of taking up such grievances through NICVA management and is designed to cover matters which are personal to an individual’s conditions of service with NICVA.

The Grievance Procedure is intended to provide a mechanism for resolving any grievance quickly and practically and should therefore reduce the likelihood of disputes arising. The procedure is not, however, intended as a means of taking issue with NICVA’s organisation or structure. For example, where a policy has been drawn up or management decision taken which affects all staff equally, then the Grievance Procedure does not apply.

This procedure does not apply in cases where an employee is dissatisfied with any disciplinary action taken in which circumstances the disciplinary appeals procedure should be utilised.

Informal procedure

Wherever possible, individual grievances should be resolved on an informal one to one basis with an employee’s line manager. Where such discussion does not resolve the matter, the following stages should apply:

Formal procedure - Stage 1

Discussion of the grievance between employee and the Chief Executive

The employee may request in writing a formal meeting to state their grievance and may be accompanied to that meeting by an employee/union representative. The Human Resources Manager will be present to advise both parties on procedural issues and to record notes of the meeting. The Chief Executive should consider the points made by the employee and interview other relevant parties. On completion of the investigation, the Chief Executive should communicate his/her response in writing within five working days. If the grievance is initiated by the Chief Executive, Stage 2 of the grievance procedure will automatically apply.

Stage 2

Appeal: Discussion of the grievance between employee and the Resources Committee

If the employee remains aggrieved with the decision under Stage 1 of the procedure, they may appeal this decision and raise the matter in writing with the Resources Committee. The grievance should be acknowledged in writing and a date set for the meeting to which the employee concerned may again be accompanied by an employee/union representative. At that meeting, the Resources Committee will consider the views expressed by the employee concerned followed by the Chief Executive who will attend the meeting to explain the reasons for his/her original decision under Stage 1 of the procedure. The Human Resources Manager will be present to advise both parties on procedural issues and to record notes of the meeting. All staff members will withdraw to allow the Committee to reach a decision which will be conveyed to all parties concerned within five working days.

Stage 3

Conciliation and arbitration

If an employee is still dissatisfied, they may request that the matter be referred to the Labour Relations Agency for conciliation. Should the grievance still remain unresolved following all stages of conciliation, each side will have the unilateral right to refer the matter to arbitration.


At all stages of the Grievance Procedure panel members will be selected from Resources Committee Members who are deemed independent. Where a panel member or the Chief Executive has been involved in or has some prior detailed knowledge of the complaint then another panel member from the Senior Management Team, or the wider Executive Committee will be appointed.

We share NICVA’s policies to assist organisations in drafting their own. However, our policies are relevant to NICVA and are not samples. They should not be replicated, but may be used for reference purposes, in conjunction with other guidance available. NICVA cannot accept any claims arising from error or misinterpretation.'s picture
by Alex Hastings

Human Resources Manager

[email protected]

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