Grievance Procedure

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
Purpose

  1. The main purpose of the grievance procedure is to find a speedy resolution to formal grievances raised by employees. The employee working in partnership with management is the best way to achieve a speedy resolution to most grievances.
  2. This procedure will apply to all employees other than “holders of senior posts”, for whom a separate procedure exists.
  3. Employees will be able to raise grievances about concerns as they relate to the application of the College’s policies/procedures and practices.
  4. Given that the main purpose of the grievance procedure is to find resolution to an employee’s concerns, it may not be appropriate for an employee to raise a grievance in relation to the issues listed below as it might not be possible to find a practical resolution to those concerns:
     contractual matters which have been subject to formal negotiations and/or collective agreements
     Income Tax or National Insurance
     pension rights
     decisions of the Governing Body
     A matter driven or decided by external agencies/bodies.
    The staff of the Human Resources Department are available to advise on the appropriateness of the procedure in specific circumstances. See paragraph 11.
    Validity of the Grievance
  5. A grievance will only be valid if it relates to an individual employee’s concerns. An individual grievance will not be valid if it relates to a collective grievance.
  6. A grievance will only be valid if it is registered within three months of the last event leading to the grievance. Discretion can be exercised to allow the grievance to proceed where the employee identifies extenuating circumstances.
  7. A grievance will only be valid where the employee has attempted to find a resolution to the
    grievance informally. Discretion can be exercised to allow the grievance to proceed where the employee identifies extenuating circumstances.
  8. A grievance appeal will only be valid where the employee has registered an appeal within 10 days of the date on the grievance response letter. Discretion can be exercised to allow the grievance appeal to proceed where the employee identifies extenuating circumstances.
  9. It will not be valid for employees to raise matters as grievances under this procedure where other College procedures apply to deal with them.
  10. A grievance will not be valid where it has been raised previously and all steps of the procedure have been completed, where the grievance is considered to have been resolved or was declared invalid.
    General Provisions
  11. The Human Resources (HR) Department will be available to both the employee and management to give guidance on the application of the formal grievance procedure. HR staff can also help in exploring ways to resolve the grievance.
  12. The time and place of hearings should, where possible, be mutually agreed. The overall objective is to deal with the grievance speedily. With this in mind, hearings should normally be held within the time scales identified. Employees will normally be given five days notice of meetings.
  13. Meetings should be conducted in a manner which enables employees to have an opportunity to outline their grievances. In this regard managers should be sensitive to the time and location of meetings and, where practicable, provide suitable facilities to ensure that the employee is able to express themselves fully.
  14. At all steps of the procedure employees have the right to be accompanied by a recognised trade union representative or work colleague. Where employees choose to be accompanied, they should inform the manager dealing with the grievance at least two days before the meeting of the name of the person accompanying them. This will ensure that appropriate arrangements and facilities can be made. Failure to do so can lead to delays in resolving the grievance.
    The Procedure
  15. Employees are expected to resolve most grievances informally. This may mean that the employee seeks the support of his/her immediate line manager to resolve the grievance or s/he may raise their concerns directly with an employee causing them concern. If the employee’s immediate manager is not best placed to resolve their grievance then the employee can raise the grievance with the next most senior manager.
  16. The formal grievance procedure has three steps as set out below:
    Step 1 – Setting Out the Grievance in Writing
  17. To register a formal grievance the employee must set out in writing their specific grievance and submit this to their immediate line manager with a copy to the HR Department. To aid a speedy resolution of the grievance the formal written grievance should normally contain the following information:
     a description of what has taken place, including the date and time of specific events that are considered relevant
     any background events which help to put the incident in context
     the name(s) of any other employee(s) who may be able to assist the manager in dealing
    with the grievance.
     an explanation of why informal resolution has not been successful
     if the grievance relates to events more then three months old, why the grievance has not
    be raised sooner
     any other information that would help the manager to find a resolution to the grievance.
     the resolution that the employee is seeking.
  18. To ensure that all the relevant areas are covered the employee should complete the grievance form. Once the grievance form has been received the grievance will be formally registered. Failure to complete the grievance form will not invalidate the grievance but may lead to a delay in dealing with the grievance.
    Step 2 – Grievance Hearing
  19. Upon receipt of a valid written grievance or grievance form the appropriate manager will arrange a grievance hearing with the employee as soon as is practicable. This will normally mean that a grievance hearing will be held within 10 days from the receipt of the grievance form.
  20. In most cases the employee will receive a written response to the grievance within 10 days of the grievance hearing. However where the manager dealing with the grievance needs to consider the views of other employees, it may not be possible to comply with this timescale. In any case the manager should ensure that the grievance response letter is sent without unreasonable delay.
    Step 3 – Right of Appeal
  21. If upon receiving the grievance response letter the employee still feels that the grievance has not been resolved, then s/he will need to write to the next most senior manager raising a grievance appeal. If the employee has not submitted a written grievance appeal within 10 days of the date of the grievance response letter, the employee will be deemed to have accepted the grievance response and the grievance will be considered as resolved and the procedure will come to an end.
  22. In order to speed up resolution of the grievance the formal written grievance appeal should
    contain the following information:
     a copy of the original grievance form
     a copy of the response letter sent by the manager dealing with the grievance
     if there has been a delay of more than 10 days in registering the appeal, the reasons for
    the delay.
     the reasons why the resolution proposed at step 2 was not acceptable.
     indicate if there is any new evidence that the senior manager should consider.
     the name(s) of employee(s) who may be able to assist the senior manager in finding a
    resolution to the grievance
     the resolution that the employee is seeking.
  23. To ensure that all the relevant areas are covered the employee should complete the grievance appeal form. Once the grievance appeal form has been received by the senior manager with a copy being sent to the HR Department the grievance appeal will have been formally registered. Failure to complete the grievance appeal form will not invalidate the grievance but may lead to a delay in dealing with the grievance.
  24. Upon receipt of a valid written grievance appeal or appeal form the senior manager will arrange a grievance appeal hearing with the employee as soon as is practicable. This will normally mean that a grievance appeal hearing will be held within 10 days from the receipt of the grievance appeal form.
  25. In most cases the employee will receive a written response to the grievance appeal within 10 days of the grievance appeal hearing. However where the senior manager dealing with the grievance needs to consider the views of other employees, it may not be possible to comply with this timescale. In any case the senior manager should ensure that the appeal response letter is sent without unreasonable delay.
  26. The senior manager’s appeal response letter is the final stage of the formal grievance procedure.
    Modified Grievance Procedure
  27. A former employee of the College can raise a grievance and the full grievance procedure will be available to them, unless by mutual agreement it is agreed to adopt a modified grievance procedure.
  28. The modified grievance procedure is initiated by the former employee raising a written grievance providing the details as outlined under step 1. In order to avoid unnecessary delay the grievance form should be completed. Under the modified grievance procedure the Manager will provide a formal written response, but without the need for a grievance hearing, this will be the final stage of the modified grievance procedure.
  29. The manager will normally provide a written response to the grievance within 10 days of the receipt of either a letter raising the grievance or completed grievance form. However where the manager dealing with the grievance needs to consider the views of other employees, it may not be possible to comply with this timescale. In any case the manager should ensure that the response letter is sent without unreasonable delay.
  30. The manager’s grievance letter is the last stage of the modified grievance procedure.
  31. All the conditions identified in this procedure will also apply to the modified grievance procedure.
    NOTE
    Days referred to in these guidelines are intended to refer to weekdays Monday to Friday.
    To assist the application of this procedure guideline are available and should be referred to when dealing with individual cases.