At present, the Model Grievance Procedure in India provides for five successive time bound steps, each leading to the next unless the aggrieved employee prefers an appeal.
Step I:The aggrieved employee verbally explains his grievance to his immediate supervisor or in a conference or a discussion specifically arranged for the purpose. The employee seeks satisfaction from his supervisor. The supervisor must give his answer within forty-eight hours of the presentation of the complaint. The grievance can be settled if the supervisor has been properly trained for the purpose, and if he adheres strictly to a basic problem-solving method. Step II:The second step begins when the grievance is not settled by the supervisor. If the employee does not receive an answer within the stipulated time or he is not satisfied with the answer, he shall either in person or with his departmental representative present his grievance to the head of the department designated for this purpose. The head of the department is generally the chief business manager, a superintendent or an industrial relations officer who goes into the grievance and gives his decision on the matter.
He is required to furnish his answer within three days of the presentation of the grievance. Step III:If the employee is not satisfied with the answer, he can approach the grievance committee which shall evaluate the case and make its recommendations to management within seven days of presentation of the case. The grievance committee is composed of some fellow-employees, the shop steward or a combination of union and management representatives. The committee may suggest any one of the possible solutions: (a) It may call upon the grievant to accept the employer’s proposed settlement. (b) It may advise him that the trade union will not press for anything more than has already been suggested.
(c) In some cases, it may recommend that the issue be submitted for arbitration. (d) The employee would be informed about the recommendation with three days. Step IV:If the committee fails to a take decision within the stipulated period or if the employee is not satisfied with the decision, he can make an appeal for revision to management. Management is supposed to communicate its decision within seven days of the worker’s revised petition. Step V:If the employee is dissatisfied with the management’s decision, union and management may refer the grievance for voluntary arbitration within a week of the receipt of management’s decision by the aggrieved employee.
The parties may agree beforehand that the arbitrator’s award will be final and binding on both the parties.