Prince Sultan University PSU
Compliance and Policies Office
Compliance Policies

Policy Code: COP0006
Policy Name: Grievance Policy
Handler: Compliance and Policies Office, Office of the President
Date Created: 22 January 2022
Date of Current Review: N/A
Approved by: University Council
Date of Approval: 25 May 2022


The University is committed to providing a positive learning and working environment where everyone is treated fairly and with dignity and respect. In case of the occurrence of grievance, this policy explains how to raise a grievance and the steps that will be taken to find a resolution as swiftly as possible. This policy also includes the appeal process if one is not happy with the outcome of the grievance hearing and wants to appeal against the decisions.


This policy applies to all students and employees and relates to issues or incidents that have occurred in work, in a work-related situation, study or in relation to study related situation. It does not apply to those who are no longer working or studying at the University.

This policy applies to all students and employees and relates to issues or incidents that have occurred at work, in a work-related situation, in a study, or in relation to a study-related situation. It does not apply to those who are no longer working or studying at the University.


Eligibility One must raise a grievance within three months of the event or series of events that have caused the complainant difficulty unless there are exceptional reasons why the complainant was not able to do so.

Senior Compliance and Legal Manager (grievance Coordinator):

The Senior Compliance and Legal Manager will act as a Grievance Coordinator who is responsible for helping to coordinate the expeditious and fair resolution of grievances raised pursuant to this policy. The role of the Grievance Coordinator is to assist the parties and the Grievance Board in administering the grievance procedures. To that end, the Grievance Coordinator will remain neutral throughout the proceedings and will serve primarily as a facilitator.

Grievance Board

This is a five-person committee of university personnel appointed by the President on an annual basis.

Grievance Procedure

This policy is underpinned by the following principles:

  • The employee or student concerned should try and resolve most issues by talking to the direct manager or instructor or related individual at an early stage before referring the complaint to the Grievance Office.
  • Everyone involved in the process will be treated fairly and with dignity and respect. Everyone is entitled to be listened to and put forward their points of view.
  • The focus is to resolve concerns as swiftly as possible and without damaging working or learning relationships. It is not primarily about imposing punishment on others. Throughout the process, you will be encouraged to identify a resolution where possible without escalating to the formal stages.
  • The process will be kept as confidential as possible and information about a case will only be shared with those directly involved or affected. This means that you must not talk about proceedings with anyone else at work or at the University other than those assigned to deal with your grievance.
  • The Grievance Board Chair will investigate or review grievances. There is a need to include other individuals in the investigation process, they will have the relevant background or training to properly consider cases, particularly where they involve interpersonal difficulties or potential discrimination or harassment.
  • All genuine grievances, raised in good faith, will be dealt with promptly and fairly. Vexatious or trivial complaints will not be considered.


Grievances will be processed under the procedures set forth below.

  1. All complaints must be reviewed by the Compliance Officer before being submitted to the Grievance Board.

  2. Complainants are required to prepare a petition to ensure that the Grievance Board will address the specific issues that most concern the complainant. The guidelines set forth below for preparing the petition are designed to ensure that the petition clearly identifies those issues.

  3. The complaint must include the following information:

    1. the complainant's name and, when applicable, job title, the name of the instructor

    2. the department/unit/course in which the complainant is employed or enrolled

    3. the nature of the problem or complaint;

    4. the communication that has taken place between the complainant and his or her academic department head, supervisor, and/or second-level supervisor concerning the matter

    5. the supervisor's and/or other superior's response

    6. the reason the complainant disagrees with that response

    7. the complainant's suggestion for proper resolution of the matter

    8. identification of any witnesses who may have relevant information regarding the complaint

  4. Any documents the complainant wishes to offer as evidence to the Grievance Board also should be submitted to the Compliance Officer at the time a petition is made. A copy of the documents will be provided to the other party or parties to the dispute ("respondent").

  5. The respondent will have an opportunity to identify witnesses and provide documents to the Grievance Board Chair. A copy of the documents will be provided to the complainant.

  6. The Grievance Board Chair will review such documents and delete those documents which are not relevant.

  7. A complainant who wishes to address the Grievance Board orally must make the request in the written petition. The purpose of an oral presentation is to provide an opportunity for individuals who may communicate more effectively orally than in writing to supplement their written petition.

  8. The University unit or individual against which the appeal is directed will be afforded the opportunity to attend the hearing if one is requested.

  9. If no oral presentation is requested, the review will be based on the written record.
    When a hearing has been requested, the following rules will apply:

    1. The complainant will be notified of the date, time, and place of the hearing.

    2. Members of the Grievance Board will be excused from service on a particular case under the following circumstances:

      • If they have a personal or professional relationship with any party to the case which would prejudice them from rendering an objective judgment in the case.

      • If the case involves a student, faculty member or staff member in the same department or unit as a member of the Grievance Board.

      • In the event a board member is excused from service on a particular case, the Compliance and Legal Manager on the advice of the President will select an alternate to serve on the committee for that case.

  10. If an oral hearing is to be held, the complainant shall appear first in the hearing; other parties who are respondents shall appear after the complainant. The Grievance Board Chair may invite witnesses identified by either party to participate by meeting with the Grievance Board members; if they prefer, they may respond in writing to the Grievance Board’s request for information.

  11. If an oral hearing is to be held, the chair of the Grievance Board will choose the option that the complainant and respondent appear (a) separately, or (b) together. Parties will not be permitted to cross-examine each other during the hearing. Formal legal rules of evidence do not apply in the hearing.

  12. The complainant has the burden of proving by the preponderance of the evidence that he/she has been wronged. If at the conclusion of a review the Grievance Board is unable to reach a decision, the complainant fails to carry this burden and the finding should be in the respondent’s favor.

Grievance Committee’s decision

When the Grievance Committee has received the information, it deems necessary to render a decision in a case, it shall determine by majority vote what the Grievance Board’s findings will be.

Communication of the Outcome of Grievance

The Chair of the Grievance Board will communicate the outcome of the hearing and the recommendations to the Senior Compliance and Legal Manager, who will inform the complainant within one calendar week of the hearing to confirm the outcome and any actions to be taken to resolve the grievance. The complainant will be advised if no action is to be taken and the reasons for the decision.

The Senior Compliance and Legal Manager will advise the complainant of the right of appeal if the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the grievance.

In some instances, the Chair might decide that there is sufficient evidence that the issues relating to the respondent are serious and that they have a case to answer. This would mean that the respondent’s conduct will be considered by a disciplinary panel under the Disciplinary Policy. If that is the case the complainant will not need to be interviewed again.

The findings from the grievance investigation will be sufficient for the disciplinary process.



Grievance means a formal complaint of a faculty member, student, or employee, which is an accusation of a violation of workplace contract terms or policy.

It refers to a concern or any form of workplace dissatisfaction, that anyone may have with his employer, manager, or fellow employee that needs to be addressed by the management through the proper channel used as per the rules and regulations.

The possible cases that may lead to grievances include:

  • Work relations and environment
  • Breach of the terms and conditions of the employment contract
  • Discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, ethnic origin, age, gender and disability
  • Health and safety
  • Harassment
  • Any other work-related issue that may affect negatively and need to be sorted by the Grievance Boar