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Grievance Procedure Of Ace Forklift Industries

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Question:

Discuss about the Grievance Procedure of Ace Forklift Industries.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction:

The assignment is a study o grievance redressal process in the workplace taking Ace Forklift Industries as the subject of study. The case study presents a case of sexual harassment of a female administration employee in the company. She does not receive any legal support from the HR or any senior employee. The first section of the paper starts with the definition of the term “grievance”. The next section deals with the grievance process the employee should follow to get justice. The assignment outlines the documents and the external parties involved if the company does not resolve the problem.

Definition of a Grievance:

A grievance in workplace is defined as the formal notice expressing dissatisfaction of an employee reported in a legal format. The format in which the grievance is reported is done in consistent with prevailing laws. Grievance is a legal procedure and the aggrieved person can approach court if the responsible authority does not resolve the matter. Grievance is usually lodged when the management or senior managers commits illegal actions like violation of labour laws, sexual harassment, unethical termination of employees and so on (Hechter, Pfaff and Underwood 2016). The companies are obliged to follow the laws passed both by the central government and state governments in various matters. The employees who found and suffer from the violation of these laws can lodge grievance before the management. If the management does not take steps to resolve their claim, they can approach the court. Here the employee is the applicant and the employer is the respondent (Regan Jr, and Hall 2016). For example, in the fourth case the female employee faced sexual harassment from a male accountant. She can lodge a grievance and get protection under the Equal Employment Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act 1987 (Legislation.gov.au 2017).

Grievance Procedure for sexual harassment: Internal complaint

Gather evidences:

The female employee and the concerned HR of the AC Forklift must at first gather all documentary evidences of the harassment and attach them to the form. The important documents will depend on the seriousness of the case (Moscoe, 2015). For example, in the case of sexual harassment the documents should include the following:

  1. Main steps taken to prevent and manage such activities.
  2. Main information gathered by the HR while investing the case of sexual harassment.
  3. A detail of the investigation report.
Filling up the complaint form

The female employee must fill the complaint form before lodging the complaint and sign all the pages. The format of complaint form has been filled as per the case study as below:

  1. Date Grievance Lodged: April 17, 2017
  2. Is this the first time this grievance has been lodged by either party? (please circle) :No?
  3. Work Location: Ace Forklift
  4. Work Category /Type :

Complainant: the female administration employee

Respondent: the male accountant

  1. General Nature of the Grievance: Sexual harassment
  1. Option/s Utilised to Resolve Grievance: Spoke to the HRO
  2. Date Grievance Finalised: No action taken?
  3. Was the complainant satisfied with the: ?a) Process followed to resolve the grievance (please circle) No
  4. b) Outcome of the grievance (please circle) No
  5. Was the respondent satisfied with the:
  6. a) Process followed to resolve the grievance (please circle): No
  7. b) Outcome of the grievance (please circle): No
  8. Was there a request for a review? No

Contact Person for the Grievance: HR Officer?PD2010_007 Issue date: January 2010 Page 24 of 27

Area/Facility:

 

Assessed by:

Date of Assessment:

IMPLEMENTATION REQUIREMENTS

Not commenced

Partial compliance

Full compliance

1. A formal local workplace grievance management system has been developed to address all workplace grievances, with a focus on prompt, fair, efficient, appropriate and effective resolution.

No

 

 

Notes:

2. A suitably qualified senior staff member has overall responsibility for the operation of the workplace grievance management system, including developing, implementation, monitoring and updating of the system.

Yes

 

 

Notes:

3. Formal procedures are in place to instruct all staff on the workings of the grievance management system, and to give all staff access to timely and effective grievance management and resolution.

No

 

 

Notes:

4. A grievance is individually assessed as it arises. It is also managed in a way most appropriate to the circumstances.

No

 

 

Notes:

5. Additional points of contact for complainants have been set up, including designated Grievance Contact Officers, who can assist staff members involved in the resolution process.

No

 

 

Notes:

The HR officer and the senior officer did not take any step when the female employee lodged a complaint.

6. The workplace grievance management system is structured to encourage early self- resolution where possible, and supports the use of facilitation and mediation, where appropriate.

No

 

 

Notes:

7. The workplace grievance management system contains mechanisms to ensure grievances are treated with appropriate confidentiality.

No

 

 

Notes:

8. The grievance management system contains a facility to ensure access to an effective review mechanism, and outlines review procedures for staff.

No

 

 

Notes:

The female employee did not receive any help


Lodging a complaint:

The female administration assistant in the fourth case stated in the case study should at first lodge an internal complain with the employer. The Sexual Discrimination Act does not mention any particular procedure and necessitate the managements of organisations to form an grievance redressal system. The internal system depends on the type and size of the organisation like ACE Forklift is a trucking company using HR business partner model (Marchington, M., 2015). The HR is supposed to take the complaint and start the actions immediately. The internal redressal body must document the employee’s complaint and advice her with all possible options of lodging grievance. The complaint must be addressed in a fair, timely and private way. The female employee may send a copy of the documents to the Fair Work Omburdsman and the Fair Work Inspector by post. They will try to mediate between the parties involved and if this step fails, the employee can proceed to the next step of full investigation (Lindsay 2015).

 

Flowchart of the steps to be taken if the grievance is not resolved within the company: Full investigation:

The trained personnel must investigate the matter and asked to approach the state anti-discriminatory bodies if required. The internal framework of grievance lodge must give in writing that the aggrieved employee will not face discrimination or be victimised if she lodges complaints for sexual harassment (Humanrights.gov.au 2017). The Fair Work Inspector will investigate the matter in detail and may contact ACE Forklift to decide on the appropriate legal course of action.

Compliance and Enforcement:

The fair Work Inspector will take legal steps to cause mediation between the parties. He may issue legal notices against the employer or the employees concerned.

Mediation:

This is a confidential and voluntary process where the parties are asked to attend the Ombudsman at his office. The Ombudsmen will try to help the parties to solve the problem and find a solution. If the mediation process fails, the complainant can lodge an external complain to seek justice of a court.

External complaint:

The aggrieved female employee did not receive any legal support from the senior managers which leaves her with the option of lodging a formal complaint with the external judicial system.

The aggrieved female employee in this case approach the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) or relevant authority (Humanrights.gov.au 2017). The relevant judicial authority will investigate the case and try to mediate it through reconciliation. If the reconciliation fails and the employer terminates the employee, she can approach the Federal Court of Australia or the Federal Magistrates Court. The sexual harassment acts involving criminal activities can also be lodged directly with the police.

External parties involved:

  1. The Fair Work Ombudsman
  2. The legal professionals employed by the company
  3. Members of courts
  4. Police

Conclusion:

The employee must lodge a complaint against the harassing employee before the HR and the management of the company. She must also seek help of the Ombudsman’s office or even approach the court of law to get justice.

 

References:

Hechter, M., Pfaff, S. and Underwood, P., 2016. Grievances and the Genesis of Rebellion: Mutiny in the Royal Navy, 1740 to 1820. American Sociological Review, 81(1), pp.165-189.

Humanrights.gov.au. 2017. HREOC Website - Racial Discrimination: National Consultations: Racism and Civil Society | Australian Human Rights Commission. [online] Available at: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/hreoc-website-racial-discrimination-national-consultations-racism-and-civil-society-0 [Accessed 17 Apr. 2017].

Humanrights.gov.au. 2017. Sexual Harassment (A Code in Practice) - Complaint procedures | Australian Human Rights Commission. [online] Available at: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/publications/sexual-harassment-code-practice-complaint-procedures [Accessed 17 Apr. 2017].

Legislation.gov.au. 2017. Equal Employment Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act 1987. [online] Available at: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2016C00775 [Accessed 17 Apr. 2017].

Lindsay, R.E., 2015. Fair Work Ombudsman v Pocomwell Ltd (No 1)[2013] FCA 250. Austl. & NZ Mar. LJ, 29, p.75.

Marchington, M., 2015. Human resource management (HRM): Too busy looking up to see where it is going longer term?. Human Resource Management Review, 25(2), pp.176-187.

Moscoe, A. (2015). Sexual exploitation and abuse in United Nations peace operations: towards evidence-based prevention and response.

Regan Jr, M.C. and Hall, K., 2016. Lawyers in the shadow of the regulatory state: transnational governance on business and human rights.

OR

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