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This policy document is currently under review to reflect The Australian National University Enterprise Agreement 2023-2026, which came into effect on 5 December 2023. Until this has been reviewed, the new Enterprise Agreement will take precedence over the provisions outlined in this document.

Policy: Staff grievance resolution


To outline the principles which underpin the resolution of grievances raised by ANU staff, in accordance with relevant legislation and the ANU Enterprise Agreement.


This policy sets out the principles designed to support the effective resolution of grievances raised by University staff or students.


The policy applies to all staff across the University.

Policy statement


  1. The University is committed to addressing and resolving staff grievances effectively, including those of discrimination, harassment, bullying or other serious complaints, through a common process of explicit discussion and review. The University will provide staff and supervisors with information and training to assist with the effective management and resolution of staff grievances.
  2. It is expected that a staff members will attempt to resolve concerns directly with the persons concerned, and at a local level wherever possible.
  3. The University may decline a grievance if it is satisfied that the grievance is:
  4. vexatious, frivolous, misconceived, malicious, or lacking in substance; or
  5. where it is considered that the grievance has been lodged to avoid performance management, misconduct or other serious workplace matters; or
  6. The matter should be pursued under another University procedure.
  7. Issues of healthy, even robust academic debate and other workplace dynamics will not necessarily give rise to grievances. It is acknowledged that some decisions or actions may result in a disagreement which damages working relationships or the work environment, and give rise to a staff grievance.
  8. It is expected that all staff grievances will be managed in accordance with the ANU staff grievance resolution procedure, which will guide parties through a structured approach to resolution.
  9. Where a staff member is also an enrolled ANU student, a grievance may be dealt with under either the staff grievance resolution procedure or student complaint resolution procedure, the University will determine which procedure to apply. It is not intended that both policies be used in regard to the one grievance. In addition, the staff grievance resolution procedure is not to be used where a complaint has an existing separate appeal mechanism.
  10. All parties to a grievance will engage in the grievance resolution process in good faith and focus on achieving resolution, to ensure that the University establishes and maintains a respectful workplace that contributes to it maintaining its position as Australia’s leading University.
  11. Where a staff member uses a grievance process defined within the staff grievance resolution procedure, it is expected that the grievance process would normally be fully exhausted before any dispute is raised under the Dispute Avoidance and Settlement provisions of the Enterprise Agreement.
  12. The University acknowledges that a staff member may seek advice or review from external agencies in relation to issues, especially where there may be allegations of sexual harassment or bullying.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Staff grievance resolution
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_000466
Purpose To outline the principles which underpin the resolution of grievances raised by ANU staff.
Audience Staff, Staff-Academic, Staff-Professional
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Staff - Grievances & Appeals
Effective Date 23 Mar 2018
Next Review Date 30 Jun 2024
Responsible Officer: Chief People Officer
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Employee Relations
Authority: Racial Discrimination Act 1975
Sex Discrimination Act 1984
Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986
The Australian National University Enterprise Agreement 2023-2026
Delegations 0

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.