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Employee Grievance Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To outline the process for the resolution of Complaints, Grievances or problems raised by Employees in relation to human resource management and employment related matters.

2 Scope

This procedure applies to all Employees.

3 Procedure Overview

This procedure details the stages and steps involved in lodging and resolving an Employee Grievance.

4 Procedures

Where a Grievance arises as a result of a University decision, the University will, where possible, refrain from the activity during the period taken up by discussion under these procedures which will be completed within 21 days where practicable. Additionally, the status quo of the Employee concerned will, where possible, remain unchanged in all other aspects.

Where the Employee or their Nominated Representative, and the Director (Human Resources) agree, the time-limits set out in these provisions may be extended and/or the Grievance process may begin at the second level of these procedures.

Where two or more Employees believe they have an identical or common problem, they may take action together and the matter will be dealt with as a single Grievance.

A matter raised within these procedures may be withdrawn by the Employee or their Nominated Representative, at any stage during these procedures by notice in writing, to the Director (Human Resources).

4.0.1 First level: Facilitation

When an Employee wishes to raise a Grievance with the University within these procedures, that Employee must initially attempt to resolve the Grievance through discussions with the other party or parties involved in the Grievance process.

The Employee must also verbally advise the Employee's immediate supervisor of the situation. Where the Employee claims to have been aggrieved by the Employee's immediate supervisor, the Employee may instead inform the supervisor's immediate superior, if the Employee feels unable to approach the immediate supervisor on the Grievance issue.

Human Resources is available to facilitate one-on-one discussions, on request.

The person or persons with whom the Grievance is raised will make a full verbal response to the Employee not later than five working days, where practicable, from the date the matter is raised.

The Category 4 Delegate or above must ensure the matter proceeds in accordance with the time frames stated in these procedures and the dates of meetings are clearly documented. The Employee may be assisted by a Nominated Representative in preparing for, and participating in these procedures.

4.0.2 Second level: Mediation

If the Employee is dissatisfied with the reply (or if there was not a timely reply at the First Level), the Employee, or, where requested, their Nominated Representative, must advise the Director (Human Resources), of the unresolved Grievance.

At the request of the parties involved in the Grievance process, or at the discretion of the Director (Human Resources), the Director (Human Resources) will arrange a Mediation of the Grievance with the aggrieved person or persons by independent and neutral Mediators, within five working days where practicable.

The Director (Human Resources) will ensure that all parties involved are fully informed of the Grievance, including the provision of any related written material(s).

4.0.3 Third level: referral to the Fair Work Commission

Where the Grievance remains unresolved after five working days, or as soon as practicable, following the Mediation, either party to the Grievance process may refer the matter to the Fair Work Commission.

All recommendations made by the Fair Work Commission will be binding on the parties involved in the Grievance process and will constitute a settlement of the matter.

5 Delegated responsibilities


Level of Delegation

Director (Human Resources)

Arrange Mediation.

At Mediation level, ensure matter proceeds in accordance with the stated timeframes.

Category 4 Delegate or above

At facilitation level, ensure matter proceeds in accordance with stated timeframes.

6 References


7 Schedules

This procedure must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

8 Procedure Information

Subordinate Schedules

Accountable Officer

Executive Director (Finance and People Capability)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date


Effective Date


Review Date


Relevant Legislation

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (Qld)

University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014 - 2017

Related Policies

Code of Conduct Policy

Employee Complaints and Grievances Policy

Public Interest Disclosure Policy and Procedure

Working Hours and Arrangements Policy

Related Procedures

Disciplinary Action for Misconduct or Serious Misconduct Procedure

Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Complaints against Employees Procedure

Work Allocation Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Fair Work Commission

Fair Work Ombudsman

Queensland Ombudsman's Office

Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission

Public Interest Disclosure Website


Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Delegate (noun)

Delegate (noun) means the officer, Employee or committee of the University to whom, or to which, a delegation of authority has been made under this Policy....more


A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....more


Typically defined as a concern or Complaint raised by an Employee against a process, action, omission or Decision within the responsibility and control of the University which relates to employment or related internal human resources matters, which has or is likely to have an unreasonable negative impact on the ability of an Employee to undertake their duties, or similar impact on thei...more


A process in which parties to a dispute, with the assistance of a neutral third party ('the Mediator'), identify the disputed issues, develop options, consider alternatives and endeavour to reach an agreement. The Mediator has no advisory or other determinative role with regard to the content of the dispute or the outcome of its resolution, but may advise on or determine the process of...more


An individual with appropriate experience and training appointed by the University to assist the Complainant and Respondent to negotiate a solution which is acceptable to both of them but not to determine what that solution will be....more


The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....more

Definitions that relate to this procedure only

Nominated Representative

Means in relation to an Employee, a person selected by the Employee to assist or represent the Employee. The person may be an officer or Employee of the relevant Union, or any other person chosen by the Employee. In relation to the University, it means a person selected by the University to assist or represent the University. The person may be an Employee of the University, or an officer or Employee of AHEIA, or any other person selected by the University. The Nominated Representative must not be a practising barrister or solicitor and must not present a conflict of interest.


Grievance, Complaint, Mediation, resolution

TRIM Record No


Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.
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