Business entity grievance mechanisms

Indicator Phrasing

# of target business entities with established or improved grievance mechanisms [specify features] that have been designed in consultation with workers or their legitimate [define] representatives [specify]

Indicator Phrasing

English: # of target business entities with established or improved grievance mechanisms [specify features] that have been designed in consultation with workers or their legitimate [define] representatives [specify]

What is its purpose?

This indicator measures the number of business entities that have grievance reporting mechanisms (GMs) designed in consultation with workers or worker representatives to address key barriers to reporting by workers. GMs within business entities can potentially allow workers to voice concerns about incidents of rights violations in the workplace and can potentially lead to remediation. However, limitations typically exist that deter workers from submitting grievance reports through GMs (e.g., fear of reprisals by business personnel in response to grievance reports and practical barriers such as workers not being informed about how to use them or reporting options not being translated into workforce appropriate languages). Therefore, worker involvement in GM design and characteristics (a) – (i) below help to ensure that GMs are, in principle, accessible to workers.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Calculation Method

Step 1. Define the criteria of the indicator according to project or program priorities.  

  • Decide whether your project or program is most interested in measuring the establishment or improvement of GMs by business entities or both. If a grievance mechanism already exists, an initial assessment should be conducted to identify what features exist, and what improvements are of interest with reference to the features below: 

    • (a) Anonymous reporting options   

    • (b) Multiple reporting channel options                                                                                                                                         

    • (c) At least one reporting channel that goes to an independent third party [specify which kind]                                                 

    • (d) Reporting options that are zero financial cost to workers                                                                                                     

    • (e) Reporting options in workforce appropriate languages                                                                                                         

    • (f) Reporting options with guaranteed notification of outcomes                                                                                                 

    • (g) Training provided on how to use the grievance reporting mechanism.                                                                           

    • (h) Guarantees to workers against reprisals for submitting grievance reports                                                                           

    • (i) Documentation of reports submitted, and actions taken 


  • Define what counts as ‘in consultation with workers’, e.g., whether workers were consulted only once or often, or in a limited time frame. Consider within this definition of ‘consultation’ whether women and migrant workers (where applicable) were involved in any design consultation process. 

  • Define ‘legitimate’ representatives for the purposes of using this indicator as this will vary according to context. For example, ‘independent of the business entity’ AND ‘having a public record of successful workplace remediation between workers and business entities’.  

  • Specify which representatives count for being to be included as having met the terms of this indicator. This may be a single category of representatives (e.g. CSOs) or a list of potential representatives (e.g., CSOs, union and independent worker committees).  

  • Decide which features of GMs from (a) – (i) should feature in the indicator for your project or program.                                                           


Step 2. Count the # of business entities that meet the terms of terms of the indicator including the criteria defined in Step 1 and note this alongside the total number of targeted business entities. 

How to collect and analyze data 


This indicator is intended for use by CSOs that are engaging with business entities and / or workers. Project engagement records and interviews can be used to assess whether individual business entities meet the terms of the indicator.  


For each business entity being assessed, engagement records should be systematically developed during the project or program detailing the types of engagement activities themselves. This may include information shared about the consultation process during development of the GM or any features of it relating to (a) – (i) during meetings, email or in-person communications, public events, private or public documents shared by the business entity, or other engagement activities. It may include information on engagements with business entity personnel, workers or relevant worker bodies (e.g., worker committees or unions) and other relevant parties on GM design (including GM features (a) – (i)), implementation, grievance report monitoring or radiation of reported grievances. 


Interviews with workers may also be used to gather information to understand if a business entity meets the indicator criteria.  


Example interview questions for workers: 

  • Have you or any other workers you know at this business entity have been able to input to the design of the GM? 

  • How have you or any other workers you know been able to provide input (In person? In group settings? In writing? At a single time point, or in multiple stages?) 

  • Have you received training on how to submit grievance reports? 

  • Have you or any workers you know tried but been unable to submit a grievance report (if YES, what issue did you encounter?) 

  • Etc. 

Example interview questions for business entity personnel:  

  • Which reporting channels do workers have as options for reporting specifically? 

  • Which independent third party receives or will receive grievance reports via this GM? 

  • Can you describe how anonymity is ensured in any of the reporting options? 

  • Etc. 

Using the information collected in project or program engagement records and interview data, the number of business entities that meet the terms of this indicator may be counted. 

Disaggregate by

  • Business entity size (e.g., # employees and / or annual turnover) 

  • Sector (e.g., construction, fishing, agriculture, fashion, ICT and others) 

  • Suppliers / buyers 

Important Comments

This indicator should be used in combination with one that assesses worker involvement in grievance report monitoring by business entities (such as the Grievance Mechanism Reporting indicator on this Toolkit) because many business entities have GMs that are only used by workers very rarely, and the most effective grievance processes are ones that involve workers in the whole process of design, implementation, monitoring of remediation in relation to GMs.  


This indicator does not address how far inputs by workers, or their legitimate representatives were integrated into the GMs. The indicator may be adapted to include integration of worker or representative input into a GM, if follow-up engagement with these parties and the relevant business entities is possible to confirm the extent to which this has been the case. 



Target business entities: The term “business entity” is used in a general sense to denote legally recognized organizations formed for the purpose of engaging in economic transactions, provide goods or services, and generate profits, engaged by the project or program. This may range from small businesses, for example a local restaurant chain that employs less than 50 people, to a multinational company with thousands of employees.  

This guidance was prepared by Winrock (Rights Lab) ©

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