Who should deal with an employee's grievance?

The person appointed to deal with a grievance should be objective and should not have been involved in the issues giving rise to the employee's complaint. An appropriate person may have had some training on how to deal with grievances, but as a minimum should familiarise him- or herself with the company grievance procedure and the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures.

In most cases the employee's immediate line manager should deal with the grievance, as he or she is likely to have an understanding of the issues. An exception to this is where the grievance relates to the line manager, in which case it should be dealt with by a different manager or someone from the HR department. If there is no alternative person to deal with the grievance, as may be the case in very small firms, the non-statutory Acas guidance, which accompanies the code, states that the employer should make it clear to the employee that it will treat the grievance fairly and objectively.