Grievances Discipline Dismissal Procedures of Sainsbury




Grievances, Discipline and Dismissal Procedures of Sainsbury.


This assignment will be presented to faculty of School Of Information Risk Management to fulfil the requirements for the degree of M.B.A. It is hereby submitted to Mr. Hashim Hirani at School Of Information Risk Management London, United Kingdom.


The aim of this assignment is:-

a. To make an understanding of grievances, discipline and dismissal procedures to utilize the human resource in a befitting manner.

b. To reveal the procedures carried out by Sainsbury's in particular, to deal with the grievances, disciplines and dismissals.


a. Human Resource Management

The Human Resources Management (HRM) function includes a variety of activities, and key among them is deciding what staffing needs you have and whether to use independent contractors or hire employees to fill these needs, recruiting and training the best employees, ensuring they are high performers, dealing with performance issues, and ensuring your personnel and management practices conform to various regulations. Activities also include managing your approach to employee benefits and compensation, employee records and personnel policies.

b. Grievances

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Specific complaint or formal notice of employee dissatisfaction related to adequacy of pay, job requirements, work conditions, other aspects of employment, or an alleged violation of a collective bargaining agreement.

Grievances are concerns, problems or complaints that employees raise with their employer. There is no legally binding process that you and your employer must follow when raising or handling a grievance at work. However, there are some principles you and your employer should observe.

c. Discipline and dismissal

Disciplinary procedures refer to the processes that are followed when a business investigates a problem with an employee and the other side of that, if an employee has a problem with their employer, is referred to as a grievance procedure. In both cases there are statutory minimum guidelines laid down by the government regarding workers' rights, but a company's procedure, as long as it follows those minimum guidelines, can add steps into the processes if they wish, and many do.

The disciplinary practices are used to guide employees of the acceptable and non-unacceptable behaviour and actions at the work place (Narins 2007). These practices intend to bring about a change in the employees' behaviour (Grote 2006).


a. Grievances are a result of conflicts (Miklas and Kleiner 2003) that exist between employee and employer and can also exist between employees. These conflicts that eventually takes form of conflicts can be noticed in the form of redundancy payments, breach of employment contract, racial, sexual or disability-based discrimination, unfair employee dismissal, un-fair deduction from wages and so forth (Knight and Latreille 2000). While managing grievances, the objective of the management is to settle the conflict discreetly and at an early stage if possible through fair means(Management development review 1992).

b. Lack of interest, motivation, awareness and less pay rate, are among the basic reasons for disciplinary problems at any organization. 


a. Employers need to design policies that facilitate grievances and disciplines so that good employee relations exist and are good relationships are maintained at the work place (Narins 2007).

b. Maintaining good employee relations is imperative so that further human resource related problems such as absenteeism, disloyalty, low motivation among work force and poor levels of productivity and performance can be avoided and or managed (Miklas and Kleiner 2003; Narins 2007).

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c. In order to establish fair means of handling the issues such as such as equal opportunities and employee discrimination, companies hire external agencies such as ACAS aim to provide assistance to the affected party(s). These organisations also educate management through arranging seminars for management and employee representative so that the most common issues of contracts and disciplinary practices can be addressed in a timely manner (Management development review 1992).


For smooth functioning of an organization, disciplinary and grievance procedures are very vital as:

a. Disciplinary and grievance procedures provide a clear and transparent framework to deal with difficulties which may arise as part of their working relationship from either the employer's or employee's perspective.

b. They are necessary to ensure that everybody is treated in the same way in similar circumstances, to ensure issues are dealt with fairly and reasonably, that employers are compliant with current legislation and follow the Acas Code of Practice for handling disciplinary and grievance issues.


J Sainsbury plc comprises of Sainsbury's supermarkets, convenience stores, a home shopping service and Sainsbury's Bank. They stand for great products at fair prices and their objective is to serve customers well. They are continually improving and developing product ranges to give customers an ever-improving shopping experience. An aim is to ensure all colleagues have opportunities to develop their abilities and are well rewarded for their contribution to the business. Sainsbury's Supermarkets is Britain's longest standing major food retailing chain (Annual Report and Financial Statements 2005).

In addition to a wide range of quality food and grocery products, many stores offer delicatessen, meat and fish counters, complementary non-food products such as clothing and home ware, pharmacies, coffee shops, restaurants and petrol stations. Sainsbury's serves over 14 million customers a week and at the end of the financial year they owned 727 stores throughout the UK (Annual Report and Financial Statements 2005).


According to (Datamonitor 2009; J Sainsbury annual report 2009) the company follows the following procedure to cover grievances:-

a. The company maintains a well-structured human resource system that communicates the job performance expectations to the employees through documents such as job description. It is hence argued that providing the employees with formally detailed job descriptions, expected performance levels and clearly and concisely led objectives can save grievances and misunderstanding from arising at the first place.

b. Three formal warnings until the issue is raised.

c. Formally raise the issue before the appropriate management personnel.


Though it couldn't be verified, however the company claims to carry out practices such as investigating disciplinary matters through formal means:-

a. Documentation, including appropriate personnel.

b. Arranging disciplinary hearings (J Sainsbury annual report 2009).


The procedure followed by Sainsbury's to dismiss the employee from his or her services is as under:

a. Give the employee an advance warning(s) of the disciplinary action.

b. Investigate the reasons for the decision that has been taken for the dismissal.

c. Provide the employee with relevant documents and remind him of his rights.

d. Arrange a disciplinary hearing calling the appropriate personnel.

e. Reach a decision once an agreement has been gain of the employee's actions that led to the dismissal decision from the employee.

f. Provide the employee with a right of appeal.

g. Keep a record of all the documents for future references.


On returning from my holidays I found a letter addressed to me, it basically read that my temporary contract had ended and I had to return my uniform and locker key at the end of the day on Saturday 10th January. The letter got the following errors:-

a. I was employed on permanent basis.

b. I was not scheduled to return to work until the 17th .

c. I don't even have a locker key.

d. I have never been provided with any of the uniform.

I. spoke to the HR manager, who me that she'd sent it to all the temp's... and sadly I'd just been mixed up with the lot of them. So I got to keep my job!

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Afterwards i received my payslip accompanied by a P45 stating that I had left on January 10th 2009 and as a result of that, my payslip also read a big fat 0.00 in the NET Pay column! I'm being heavily taxed. I haven't been given, or instructed on where to get a tax rebate form, despite asking in HR.


In a nutshell, any organisation should create employee friendly environment in order to utilize their  manpower at its maximum. The organization also should devise the procedures for grievances, discipline and dismissals in an elaborated way for the protection of their employees and to curb the misconduct. 

References and bibliography,_incidents__exits/disciplinary_problems,_dispute.aspx?&q=1

DATAMONITOR (2009) J Sainsbury plc Company Profile, Datamonitor

GROTE, R (2006) Discipline without punishment: the proven strategy that turns problem employees into superior performers Safari Books Online, AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn

J SAINSBURY PLC (2009) J Sainsbury plc Annual report and financial statements 2009', [online] Available from <http://www.j->

KNIGHT, K and LATREILLE, P (2000) 'Discipline, Dismissals and Complaints to Employment Tribunals', British journal of industrial relations, 38:4, 533-555

NARINS, J (2007) Employment law for business students, Pearson Education

MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT REVIEW (1992) 'Handling grievances and unfairness', 5:6

MIKLAS, E and KLEINER, B (2003) 'New developments concerning academic grievances', Management research news, 26:2/3/4, 141-147

PERRITT, H (2006) Employee dismissal law and practice Supplemented Annually
CCH Internet research network, Aspen publishers Online