Disciplinary Policy, Procedure and Rules

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1 Disciplinary Policy, Procedure and Rules HR Policy review 2005 Probationary Procedure Version 25 Final 17/04/08 1

2 Table of contents: The Policy 4 Aim of the Process 4 Sub-Standard Conduct 4 Key Principles 4 Scope of the Procedure 5 Trade Union Officials 5 Representation 6 Notification and Postponements 6 Responsibility for Reviewing this Procedure 7 Further Guidance 7 Disciplinary Rules 8 Misconduct & Gross Misconduct 8 Informal Supervisory Stage 9 Introduction 9 Helping the Employee Meet the Required Standard 9 What if the allegations are very serious? 10 Formal Disciplinary Procedure 11 Introduction 11 The Investigation 11 Suspension 11 After an Investigation 13 Preparation for a Disciplinary Hearing 13 Version 25 Final 17/04/08 2

3 Procedure at the Disciplinary Hearing 14 Outcomes of the Hearing 15 After the Hearing 16 Notes and Recording of Hearings 16 Appeals 16 Notification of Appeal 17 Preparation for the Appeal Hearing 17 The Appeal Hearing 18 Outcomes of the Appeal Hearing 18 After the Appeal Hearing 18 Appendix A Disciplinary Rules Information Form 19 B Cases Involving Protection Issues 21 C Child Protection Procedure 22 D Safeguarding Adults Procedure 23 Version 25 Final 17/04/08 3

4 The Policy The Aim of the Process Disciplinary rules and procedures are necessary for promoting fairness and consistency in the treatment of employees. Rules set standards of conduct at work and procedures help to ensure that these standards are followed. They provide a fair method of dealing with alleged failures to observe them. The Disciplinary Rules and Disciplinary Procedures have been drawn up to comply with ACAS Code of Practice Discipline at Work and the ACAS advisory handbook, `Discipline and Grievance', Any future changes to the ACAS Code will be adopted as best practice until a formal revision of this procedure is made. Sub-Standard Conduct All employees have a responsibility to achieve a satisfactory standard of conduct and should be given all the necessary help and encouragement to enable them to reach it. Careful recruitment, selection, induction and training will minimise the risk of poor conduct and, to this end, the following principles should be observed when employment begins: The standard of conduct required should be explained and employees left in no doubt about what is expected of them. Special attention should be paid to ensuring that standards are understood by employees with little experience of working life. The consequences of any failure to meet the required standard should be explained. In dealing with cases involving sub-standard work a distinction must be drawn between genuine performance issues and a lack of performance which is attributable to a wilful refusal to work satisfactorily. The former should be dealt with under the Council's Procedure for Improving Performance and the latter is a matter of conduct and should be dealt with as such in accordance with these Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Key Principles Managers will receive training and support in the use of these procedures. Managers should use these procedures consistently and proactively. The aim is to help and encourage an employee to improve rather than just imposing a punishment. Issues should be dealt with as thoroughly and promptly as possible. Version 25 Final 17/04/08 4

5 Managers will avoid taking disciplinary action until the facts of the case have been established and any subsequent action taken will be reasonable in the circumstances. The employee will be informed of any complaint/allegation against them and be provided with an opportunity to state their case before decisions are reached. An employee will not be dismissed for a first disciplinary offence, unless it is a case of gross misconduct. An employee will be given a written explanation for any formal disciplinary action taken and know what improvement is expected. The employee will be given the opportunity to appeal against formal disciplinary action. The Hearing Officer should not have had any prior involvement with the investigation. Those conducting the appeal should not have had any prior involvement with the investigation or any hearing. Scope of the Procedure The Procedure applies to all Council employees with the exception of: Staff who are specifically covered by separate policies, for example (but not limited to) teachers employed in schools, all staff of locally managed schools, and those employed by Education Leeds. The Chief Executive and Officers on the Chief Officers Conditions of Service Employees undertaking a probationary period (including any extension that may be made above the normal probationary period). Casual employees Whilst allegations concerning child protection and vulnerable adults must be handled within this procedure, legislative requirements dictate that additional steps must be taken. Appendix B,C,D outlines the steps to be followed when such allegations arise. The Local HR Service can also be contacted for advice. It is important that before any informal action is taken in such cases that Appendix A is referenced. Trade Union Officials Normal disciplinary standards should apply to Trade Union officials' conduct but no formal disciplinary action should be taken until the circumstances of the case have been discussed with a senior trade union official or full-time official and officers in the Corporate HR Service. A trade union official includes any employee elected, selected or appointed under trade union rules to represent other members. In accordance with the ACAS Code of Practice the employee s agreement will be sought before any discussion will take place. If this agreement is withheld the employee should be advised that formal Version 25 Final 17/04/08 5

6 disciplinary action will proceed. If the allegation of misconduct is against a trade union official they should first discuss the matter with their Local HR Service. Representation All employees will have a right to be accompanied by a trade union official or work colleague at the stages identified within the procedure. Both the council and the trade unions wish to encourage the use of informal mechanisms, including one to one meetings between the employee and their supervisor to resolve any problems at an early stage. Such meetings do not preclude the employee seeking advice in advance from their union, local HR or other appropriate advisers. If an employee wants to be accompanied at the formal stages of the procedure by a trade union official or work colleague it is the employee s responsibility to arrange this. Once appointed, the employee should notify their line manager/local HR of their choice and the line manager/local HR will liaise with the representative to co-operate regarding arrangements for evidence, witnesses, meeting dates and other relevant information. Notification and Postponements Employees will be notified in advance of any meetings arranged under the formal procedure. The minimum specified period of notice (5 working days for meetings and 10 working days for Formal Hearings and Appeal Hearings) should be given these are to allow the employee time to arrange for a trade union official or work colleague to be present and to prepare in advance of the meeting. Employees should take all reasonable steps to attend meetings under these procedures. An employee who cannot attend a meeting should inform their Local HR Service (and if applicable their Trade Union official) in advance whenever possible. The employee can suggest another date as long as it is reasonable and is not more than five working days after the date originally proposed by the employer. In exceptional circumstances this five-day time limit may be extended by mutual agreement. If the employee does not attend a meeting and has a good reason for non-attendance (e.g. fails to attend through circumstances outside their control and unforeseeable at the time the meeting was arranged) the employer should arrange another meeting. A decision may be taken in the employee s absence if they fail to attend this re-arranged meeting without good reason. In circumstances where the employee has a doctor s statement, the Hearing Officer or Chair of the Personnel Panel may agree to a postponement pending medical advice from Occupational Health to establish whether the employee is fit to attend a hearing. Employees will be required to comply with any reasonable demands to achieve this opinion. In those instances where the absence is likely to continue for a prolonged period, discussions should be held with the employee, and any representative, on the advice received and whether, or how, a Hearing can proceed. Each case should be considered on its merits. Version 25 Final 17/04/08 6

7 Responsibility for Reviewing this Procedure It will be the responsibility of the Chief Officer - Human Resources to formally review this procedure after one year utilising the Council s negotiating and consultation processes. Thereafter it should be reviewed every three years, although reviews at other times may be necessary in the light of changes to legislation and Council policy. Further Guidance Anyone using this Policy should have regard to the separate guidance document. Where appropriate the guidance document will direct the reader to other relevant Council Policies and Procedures. The Disciplinary Policy is not designed to operate in isolation. Version 25 Final 17/04/08 7

8 Disciplinary Rules Misconduct This is a breach of discipline which is not sufficiently serious to warrant summary dismissal, but will warrant action being taken under this procedure. In cases where misconduct takes place and live warnings for this or another type of misconduct is still in force, then unless mitigating circumstances are proven, the employee may be dismissed. Examples of misconduct are listed below. This list is not intended to be exclusive or exhaustive and there may be other incidents of misconduct of a similar gravity. Poor timekeeping including unauthorised absence Failure to observe reasonable instructions Minor instances of neglect of duties and responsibilities Minor acts of insubordination Wilful failure to work in harmony with employees of the Council and service users Deliberate breaches of the Council s policies Misuse of the Council s facilities (including telephone and internet) Gross Misconduct This is a grave breach of discipline which is serious enough to destroy the employment contract between the Council and the employee making any further working relationship and trust impossible. Such gross misconduct would normally lead to dismissal without the normal period of notice or pay in lieu of notice, even first incidents of gross misconduct. The list is not intended to be exhaustive and there may be other incidents of gross misconduct of a similar gravity which could result in dismissal. Theft or fraud Falsification Serious breaches of the Council s Code of Conduct & Professional Codes of Conduct Failure to register with mandatory professional bodies Physical violence or bullying Unlawful discrimination or harassment Serious and deliberate damage to property Serious insubordination Serious incapability at work brought on by alcohol or illegal drugs Abuse of the Council Internet Policy in relation to accessing pornographic internet sites or sending and receiving offensive or obscene material Causing loss damage or injury through serious negligence Version 25 Final 17/04/08 8

9 Informal Supervisory Stage Introduction It is important that all Council staff meet the required standards in their conduct at work. In some instances, it may be necessary for the Line Manager to take informal action to help the employee understand these standards and how they can be achieved. It does not mean that every problem with an employee will develop into a formal disciplinary matter. A consistent and sympathetic approach to informally resolving matters of conduct will in many instances be the only action required. The day-to-day supervision of employees is part of the normal managerial process. Supervisory meetings should take place on a one to one basis between the line manager and the employee. There is likely to be less recourse to the formal procedures if deficiencies in an employee's standards of conduct are brought to his/her attention at the earliest possible stage by his/her supervising officer in the course of that employee's normal duties. In such cases, prior to any formal disciplinary proceedings, the Line Manager should speak to the employee, explain the complaint and give the employee the right to reply. It is important to note that supervision and informal one to one meetings are not formal disciplinary hearings. Helping the Employee meet the required standard The aim of the discussion is to highlight the shortcoming in their conduct and encourage improvement. Criticism should be constructive with an emphasis on jointly finding ways of improvement. After establishing the facts, the Line Manager may: Consider that it has been sufficient to talk the matter over with the employee. However the employee needs to be clear what improvements he/she needs to make, how it will be monitored and over what period. After further consideration decide that it would be more appropriate to issue a written management instruction and/or advise the employee that if his/her standards of conduct do not improve, then the next stage will be formal disciplinary action. The management instruction will contain details of the unacceptable behaviour plus a description of the improvement required. The Line Manager should keep a note of the meeting using the form at Appendix A and any management instruction shown to the employee for him/her to confirm its accuracy by signing. Any disagreements in wording that cannot be resolved should be recorded at the bottom of the note, using the recommended form. The employee will be given a copy of the form and will be issued with a copy of the management instruction if one is issued. In the instances where a management instruction is issued, Line Managers should continue to review the employee s conduct throughout normal supervision and appraisal Version 25 Final 17/04/08 9

10 etc. If it is recognised during these meetings that an employee s conduct has improved and an acceptable standard has been maintained, the Line Manager should confirm this in writing to the employee. What if the allegations are very serious? If the Line Manager considers that the matter is one that could not be resolved through an informal meeting, then the Line Manager should refer the matter to the Local HR Service by completing the form at Appendix A. Version 25 Final 17/04/08 10

11 The Formal Disciplinary Procedure Introduction When a disciplinary matter arises and it is considered that formal disciplinary action should be taken (either because informal action has not resolved the previous problem or because the allegations are very serious), then the case should be referred to an officer designated to deal with disciplinary matters i.e. the Investigating Officer (IO). This person will be nominated by the Director or his/her representative to investigate and present disciplinary cases in accordance with the agreed procedure. In selecting Investigating Officers, Directors should have regard to the gravity of the alleged misconduct and the status of the employee concerned. All Investigating and Hearing Officers will undergo suitable training in the operation of the Disciplinary Procedure. The investigating officer can be from the same service as the employee but should not be part of the employee s direct line management. The Investigation Where the misconduct is such that it cannot be resolved at the Informal Stage, the matter will be referred to the formal stages of the procedure by the line manager using the form attached at Appendix A. Upon receipt of the referral, the Investigating Officer should confirm the allegations, and the process and timescales to be followed, in writing, to the employee and any representative. The Investigating Officer should then conduct a full and comprehensive investigation into the allegations, to ascertain whether there is a case that should be referred to a formal disciplinary hearing. The Investigating Officer may suspend the employee without loss of pay immediately, during or after investigation (see next section). As part of the investigation, employees may be required to attend an investigatory interview, at which he or she may be accompanied by a trade union official or work colleague. All investigatory interviews, including that of witnesses, should be arranged as promptly as practicable whilst events are fresh in the minds of the employee and any witnesses. Suspension Suspension is a precautionary action and does not imply guilt of any form of disciplinary action against the employee. An employee may be suspended from duty on full normal pay by the Investigating Officer when: this will allow a more objective investigation of allegations involving that employee, or Version 25 Final 17/04/08 11

12 the health and safety, particularly of service users, may be a relevant factor. where it is believed not to be in the interests of the Directorate's customers or the employee s colleagues that the person should continue to work. where it is believed that the continued presence of the employee might prejudice enquiries or influence witnesses. Whilst no full and formal investigation will be undertaken at the time of suspension, the Investigating Officer must have reasonable grounds for authorising suspension and seeking commencement of a more formal investigation. In discussion with the Manager the Investigating Officer may also consider a temporary redeployment as an alternative to suspension. If suspension is authorised, it should be as brief as possible to allow minimum disruption to both the individual and the service. Where there is a requirement to extend a suspension beyond two months, then directorates will be required to seek approval from the Head of HR. If an investigation has not been concluded within 2 months and approval is given to extend the suspension, a discussion should be held between the Investigating Officer, Head of HR (who approved the extension) and trade union official or the employee if not represented to discuss the reasons for the delay. This meeting should take place prior to the suspension reaching 2 months. The Investigating Officer should keep the case under constant review and may choose to reinstate the employee at any time throughout the process. Where a suspension is to take place, then a meeting with the employee should be held as soon as possible. Every effort must be made to ensure that the employee is accompanied by his/her trade union official or work colleague, however where this is not possible, the suspension should not be unduly delayed. In these circumstances the Investigating Officer should merely effect the suspension and not put any questions to the employee. Where it is not possible to hold a meeting with the employee, e.g. they are in custody, on annual leave etc, then a letter detailing reasons for and terms of the suspension (including a contact name and number for queries) should be delivered to them without delay. During a period of suspension the employee must make themselves available at any reasonable time during normal working hours, to attend and fully participate in investigatory interviews or disciplinary hearings as required. Any annual leave already booked which coincides with the suspension period will be honoured. The line manager will be responsible for ensuring that they are kept up to date with developments at work. In exceptional circumstances when an Investigating Officer is not available to authorise suspension and there is a need to remove the employee from the workplace, an employee may be sent home by a line manager/supervisor. Full reasons as to why the employee was sent home should be documented and given to the Investigating Officer who will then decide whether to suspend. If the decision is made to suspend the Investigating Officer should also confirm the whole process in writing in line with the Version 25 Final 17/04/08 12

13 formal disciplinary procedure. Managers should always seek advice from their Local HR wherever possible, prior to taking such action. After an Investigation At the conclusion of the investigation the Investigating Officer will inform the employee and any representative that one or more of the following actions listed below will be taken. Take no further action (to be confirmed in writing) Recommendations will be made to management to take appropriate action to address the issue To convene a disciplinary hearing Preparation for a Disciplinary Hearing The Investigating Officer should ask their Local HR Service to appoint a Hearing Officer. When appointing a Hearing Officer to the case, consideration should therefore be given to: a) The seriousness of the disciplinary breach in question b) The circumstances or features of the particular case c) The employee's current record d) Consideration of fairness, justice and consistency e) Knowledge of the case. The Hearing Officer should have no prior knowledge or connection with the investigation or allegations. The Hearing Officer can be from the same service as the employee but should not be part of the employee s direct line management. The Hearing Officer will notify the employee 10 working days in advance of the Hearing. In arranging such a Hearing the Hearing Officer should be conscious of the need of the employee and or his/her representative to be given adequate time to prepare his/her case. The levels of sanctions available in the formal stages of the Disciplinary Procedure, the level of management authorised to apply such sanctions: Sanction Dismissal or transfer to another post as an alternative to dismissal Final Written Warning Written Warning Hearing Officer JNC Officer PO5 PO6 PO5 PO6 Version 25 Final 17/04/08 13

14 Where dismissal or transfer to another post as an alternative to dismissal is not the likely sanction and the case relates to a PO6 officer, normally the hearing officer will be a PO6. In exceptional circumstances the case will be heard by a JNC officer, which should be discussed with the appropriate parties prior to the hearing. The bundle of documents presented to the Hearing Officer should include all the documents that the parties may wish to refer to during the hearing. It is expected that discussion and agreement should be reached on issues such as documents to be submitted by both parties, witnesses to be called, and any other pertinent issues. Ideally this discussion will take place as soon as the investigation is complete. The information to be referred to by the employee should be sent to the Local HR Service no later than 5 working days prior to the Hearing. However, it is in everyone s interest to ensure that documents are exchanged at the earliest opportunity to allow everyone maximum time to prepare their case. Procedure at the Disciplinary Hearing The Disciplinary Hearing should be conducted by the Hearing Officer in accordance with the Council s standard hearing procedure as set out below. The Hearing Officer will introduce all parties and give them the opportunity to raise any procedural points. S/he will ensure they understand the procedure being followed for the Hearing and which Council Procedure/Stage is being used. S/he will also remind the employee that they had a right to be accompanied by a trade union official or work colleague (if unaccompanied). The Management case will be presented first and will refer to any documents submitted and may call witnesses as necessary. The trade union official, work colleague or employee (when not represented), may ask questions of each witness as they are called, as may the Hearing Officer. The employee or their trade union official or work colleague, will have the opportunity to present their case, again with the provision to call witnesses as necessary. The officer presenting the management case may ask questions of each witness, as may the Hearing Officer. The employee s trade union official or work colleague, or the Investigating Officer should not answer any questions on behalf of the employee or their witnesses. Following the questioning of each other s witnesses, both management and the Trade Unions can ask further questions of their own witnesses, but only to clarify Version 25 Final 17/04/08 14

15 points arising from the answers they have given to the other parties questions. Each party will then sum up. The management representative will sum up first followed by the employee or their trade union official or work colleague. The parties will then leave the room and the Hearing Officer and advisors will adjourn. If during that adjournment there are further points to be clarified with either party, then both parties and any trade union official or work colleague, should be called back. It may not always be appropriate for the decision to be made on the day of the hearing. The Hearing Officer will ensure that a written decision is provided to the employee within 3 working days. Outcomes of the Hearing Having given due consideration to all the issues presented the Hearing Officer (dependent on the level of sanctions they can authorise as detailed in the section above) may take one of the following courses of action:- To take no further action. To suggest some other action to address the problem. This may include directing line management to take further specific steps within supervision to address the conduct issue. To issue a Written Warning to the employee. The warning will be issued in writing and remain live for 6 months. Following that 6 month period, the warning will remain on the individual s file but be marked clearly as expired. The warning may contain details of the Hearing Officer s recommendations designed to assist the employee. To issue a Final Written Warning to the employee. The warning will be issued in writing and remain live for 12 months. Following that 12 month period, the warning will remain on the individual s file but be marked clearly as expired. The warning may contain details of the Hearing Officer s recommendations designed to assist the employee. To offer the employee a transfer to an alternative post or job at the same or lower grade as an alternative to dismissal. This will need to be done in consultation with service managers to ensure such a post is available. The employee will also be issued with a final written warning. To dismiss the employee without notice in cases of gross misconduct, or with notice other than for cases of gross misconduct. Version 25 Final 17/04/08 15

16 After the Hearing The Hearing Officer will ensure that a written decision or confirmation of the decision given on the day is provided to the employee within 3 working days. The letter should state the following information: The precise nature of any misconduct including a summary of the key reasons for reaching any conclusion, and why this misconduct was below the standard expected. Confirm the action being taken. If a warning is given, the letter should state the type of warning given (including if appropriate, the Hearing Officer s recommendations to assist the employee in the future), along with the date the warning will expire. Indicate the likely consequences of any further misconduct. If the employee is being given a final written warning, the employee should be informed that any further misconduct may result in their dismissal. Inform the employee of his/her right to appeal within ten working days of receiving the written decision of the Hearing Officer and to whom the appeal should be made. As described in the previous section the Hearing Officer will inform the managers of any warnings / actions as appropriate. Notes and Recording of Hearings The Hearing Officer should arrange for a copy of any warnings to be sent to the employee s line manager. Should the Hearing Officer decide that no action or further informal action should take place she/he will ensure that the HR advisor meets with the employee s line manager to support this process and feedback recommendations from the hearing. The hearing should be formally recorded and in the event of an appeal, the notes of the disciplinary hearing should be provided to the employee prior to the appeal hearing. Appeals The officers hearing the appeals against written warnings can be from the same service as the employee, but should not be part of their direct line management. Appeals against a written warning and final written warning will be heard by an officer more senior than the one who issued the warning. The Personnel Panel will hear appeals in respect of dismissal or transfer as an alternative to dismissal. Version 25 Final 17/04/08 16

17 All appeals will constitute a complete re-hearing of the case. Notification of Appeal Appeals against a Written Warning or Final Written Warning, must set out the full grounds of the appeal, and be made in writing to the Directorate s Director within 10 working days of receiving the written decision of the Hearing Officer. Appeals against dismissal or transfer to an alternative post as an alternative to dismissal, must set out the full grounds of the appeal, and be made in writing to the Chief Executive within 10 working days of receiving the written decision of the Hearing Officer. All appeal hearings including the Personnel Panel will be held within a reasonable timescale which as a rule, should be no later than 20 working days after receipt of the written notification of appeal. Preparation for the Appeal Hearing The employee is entitled to receive in writing at least 10 working days before the Hearing outlining: the date, time and place for the Hearing a copy of this procedure confirmation of the purpose of the meeting/stage of the procedure right of accompaniment by trade union official or work colleague of their choice. The employee is required to inform the Panel in advance of the Hearing of the name of their chosen companion who will be conducting/assisting with the hearing The bundle of documents presented to the Hearing Officer / Personnel Panel should include all the documents that parties may wish to refer to during the Appeal Hearings. It is expected that, discussion and agreement should be reached on issues such as documents to be submitted by both parties, witnesses to be called and any other pertinent issues. The information to be referred to by the employee should be sent to the Local HR Service no later than 5 working days prior to the Hearing. However, it is in everyone s interest to ensure that documents are exchanged at the earliest opportunity to allow everyone maximum time to prepare their case. Any request for a postponement for appeals must have regard to the agreed principles on the postponements outlined on page 5. Any requests for postponements relating to Version 25 Final 17/04/08 17

18 the Personnel Panel should be submitted to the Director of Legal and Democratic Services and the Chief Officer HR for consideration. The Appeal Hearing The Hearing should be conducted in accordance with the Council s standard Hearing procedure as described in the section, Procedure at the Disciplinary Hearing. Appeals heard by the Personnel Panel are subject to a separate procedure, which is available from your local HR service. Outcomes of the Appeal Hearing Those officer(s) hearing the appeal may: uphold the appeal confirm the original decision, or substitute a lesser penalty (the penalties available are those described in outcome of the hearing). After the Appeal Hearing The outcome of the all appeals should be confirmed in writing to the employee within 3 working days. This is the end of the Council Procedure and the employee has no further right of appeal. Transcripts of appeals against dismissal or transfer to an alternative post as an alternative to dismissal are only made available if the employee progresses the case to an Employment Tribunal. Version 25 Final 17/04/08 18

19 APPENDIX A - Disciplinary Rules Information Form 1. Employee s details Name: Job Title: Work Location: 2. Line Manager / Supervisor s details Name: Job Title: Work Location: 3. Employee s response to allegations of unsatisfactory conduct Use additional sheets if needed Version 25 Final 17/04/08 19

20 4. If you are going to deal with the matter locally Please note what actions you are going to take and what action you will take if the employee s conduct does not improve. This form can then be kept with your routine supervision notes for the employee. There is no need to complete section 5. Use additional sheets if needed 5. If you recommend an Investigating Officer Send a copy of this form to: Give us your details so we can get in touch with you: Name: Job Title: Division: Work Location: Contact Details: Version 25 Final 17/04/08 20

21 Appendix B Cases involving protection issues The process outlined in the following pages will be followed if the alleged misconduct is any of the following: behaved in a way that has harmed or may have harmed a child or vulnerable adult; that a criminal offence has been committed against or related to a child or vulnerable adult; or, behaved towards a child or vulnerable adult in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children or vulnerable adults. In these cases, it is not appropriate to proceed with the informal stages of the procedure this is because to do so might put a child or vulnerable adult at risk or prejudice any investigation that may need to be undertaken by the police or other officers in the authority. The process to be followed in such situations is set out in the flowcharts overleaf. Version 25 Final 17/04/08 21

22 Appendix C CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURE Allegation Received Person receiving allegation immediately reports to their most senior available manager Manager reports incident to Head of Human Resources (HR) verbally and (within 48 hours) in writing The person who receives the allegation should, where possible, clarify: the allegation, the date, time, location and witnesses. They must not interview other people or advise the person who has been accused. If the line manager is implicated the report should be made directly to the Head of HR. Head of HR consults with nominated officer i.e child protection co-ordinator or senior manager in organisation (SMO) If in doubt, consult Social Care Is allegation demonstrably false or trivial? Yes The SMO/Child Protection Co-ordinator may report the matter to Social Care for a Child in Need referral. No further action. No If in doubt, consult Social Care Has a young person or child suffered (or is at risk of suffering) significant harm? Or Is a criminal offence alleged? Yes Refer to Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) in Social Care immediately verbally and (within 48 hours) in writing If the allegation is demonstrably true then the Head of HR may instruct the member of staff to go on authorised absence having taken advice from Social Care No Social Care convene a Strategy Meeting involving themselves, the police, HR and SMO Are there potential disciplinary issues? No Is there going to be an investigation by police or Social Care? Yes Yes No Formal stage. Is IO to be appointed? HR & SMO may agree to hold the matter in abeyance pending end of Police/Social Services investigation before referring to formal stage No Yes Matter referred for investigation/ suspension by IO, and any other action required under the disciplinary procedure Head of HR may instruct the member of staff to go on authorised absence Any training issues are identified to, and addressed by, line management Version 25 Final 17/04/08 22

23 Appendix D Version 25 Final 17/04/08 23

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