Grievance mechanisms

Grievance mechanisms refer to any routinized, state-based or non-state-based, judicial or non-judicial processes through which stakeholders can raise grievances and seek remedy. Examples of state-based judicial and non-judicial grievance mechanisms include courts, labour tribunals, national human rights institutions, National Contact Points under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, ombudsperson offices, consumer protection agencies, regulatory oversight bodies, and government-run complaints offices.

Non-state-based grievance mechanisms include those administered by the organisation, either alone or together with stakeholders, such as operational-level grievance mechanisms and collective bargaining, including the mechanisms established by collective bargaining. They also include mechanisms administered by industry associations, international organisations, civil society organisations, or multi-stakeholder groups.

Operational-level grievance mechanisms are administered by the organisation either alone or in collaboration with other parties and are directly accessible by the organisation’s stakeholders. They allow for grievances to be identified and addressed early and directly, thereby preventing both harm and grievances from escalating. They also provide important feedback on the effectiveness of the organisation’s due diligence from those who are directly affected. According to UN Guiding Principle 31, effective grievance mechanisms are legitimate, accessible, predictable, equitable, transparent, rights-compatible, and a source of continuous learning. In addition to these criteria, effective operational-level grievance mechanisms are also based on engagement and dialogue. It can be more difficult for the organisation to assess the effectiveness of grievance mechanisms that it participates in compared to those it has established itself.

Source: ESRS S1 Own workforce