Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure. Document Title. Date Issued/Approved: 10 August Date Valid From: 21 December 2015

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1 POLICY UNDER REVIEW Please note that this policy is under review. It does, however, remain current Trust policy subject to any recent legislative changes, national policy instruction (NHS or Department of Health), or Trust Board decision. For guidance, please contact the Author/Owner. Document Title Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Date Issued/Approved: 10 August 2010 Date Valid From: 21 December 2015 Date Valid To: 31 March 2016 Directorate / Department responsible (author/owner): Human Resources Contact details: Brief summary of contents The policy sets out the Trust s approach to managing grievances and disputes raised by members of staff. Suggested Keywords: Target Audience Executive Director responsible for Policy: Date revised: August 2010 This document replaces (exact title of previous version): Approval route (names of committees)/consultation: Grievance, concern, complaint, dispute RCHT PCH CFT KCCG Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure OMG, JCNC Divisional Manager confirming approval processes Name and Post Title of additional signatories Signature of Executive Director giving approval Publication Location (refer to Policy on Policies Approvals and Ratification): Document Library Folder/Sub Folder Acting Associate Director of HR and OD {Original Copy Signed} {Original Copy Signed} Internet & Intranet Intranet Only Human Resources Page 1 of 2

2 Links to key external standards Related Documents: Training Need Identified? Dignity at Work Policy Raising Concerns in the Public Interest (Whistleblowing) Policy Capability Policy Disciplinary Policy and Procedure Yes - management training This document is only valid on the day of printing Controlled Document This document has been created following the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust Policy on Document Production. It should not be altered in any way without the express permission of the author or their Line Manager. Page 2 of 2

3 Document Title; Type of document: Brief summary of contents: Executive Director responsible for Policy: Directorate / Department responsible (author/owner): Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Corporate Non Clinical The Policy sets out the Trust s approach to managing grievances and disputes raised by members of staff. Director of Human Resources and OD Human Resources Contact details: Date written: April 2010 Date revised: December 2015 This document replaces: Approval route (names of committees) / consultation: Divisional Manager confirming approval process: Signature of JCNC Chair/Secretary Suzanne Grice-Renault/Laurence Wright Equality Impact Assessment appended Approval must not be given if the EIS is not attached Signature of Executive Director giving approval: Publication Location: Document Library folder/ sub folder: Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure JCNC, JLNC Helen Cridland, Acting Associate Director of HR and OD Original signed Yes Original signed Internet/ Intranet HR Date of final approval: December 2015 Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Page 1 of 15

4 Date policy becomes live: December 2015 Date due for revision: 31 March 2016 Link to external standards: Related documents: Suggested keywords: Training Need identified: Dignity at Work Policy ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures Discipline and Grievances at Work -The ACAS Guide Grievance, concern, complaint, dispute. No formal training identified. This document is only valid on the day of printing Controlled Document This document has been created following the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust Policy on the Document Production. It should not be altered in any way without the express permission of the author or their Line Manager Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Page 2 of 15

5 Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure V1.2 December 2015 Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Page 3 of 15

6 Version Control Table Date Version No. Summary of Changes Changes made by August New Policy Human Resources July Policy reformatted to comply with the Trust, Policies on Polices, document Helen Strickland Human Resources Dec Amendment made to Section 6.3.5, Appeal Hearing Step 3 pending full review of policy. Helen Cridland, Acting Associate Director of HR and OD All or part of this document can be released under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 This document is to be retained for 10 years from the date of expiry Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Page 4 of 15

7 Table of Contents 1. Introduction 6 2. Purpose 6 3. Scope 6 4. Definitions 6 5. Duties 7 6. Standards and Practice Representation Timeframe Raising a Grievance Informal Resolution - Step One Formal Stage - Step Two Grievance meeting Decide on appropriate action Appeal Hearing - Step Three Overlapping Grievance and Disciplinary or Capability Cases Dissemination and Implementation Monitoring effectiveness and compliance Updating and Review Equality and Diversity 11 Appendices Appendix 1 The Appeal Hearing 13 Appendix 2 Equality Impact Assessment Form 14 Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Page 5 of 15

8 1.0 Introduction The Trust is committed to providing a fair and effective mechanism for handling all grievance and dispute issues raised by staff. 2.0 Purpose 2.1 The purpose of the policy is to provide a framework within which Trust staff can raise their grievances in confidence and with an overall aim of reaching resolution. 2.2 A key principle of the procedure is that no manager involved or implicated in a grievance may investigate the grievance, thus ensuring fairness and objectivity. 2.3 The Trust is committed to ensuring that, wherever possible, grievances and disputes are resolved by informal discussion. This means every effort should be made by the manager, as part of their normal management duties and staff member(s) concerned to address and resolve concerns in a timely manner to avoid them having to be raised under this procedure. 2.4 Where timescales are specified, these may be reasonably varied by agreement with all parties. 2.5 This version supersedes all previous versions. 3.0 Scope 3.1 The Grievance and Disputes policy and procedure applies to all staff directly employed by the Trust, including medical and dental staff and Kernowflex workers. 3.2 It applies to both individuals and groups. 4.0 Definitions 4.1 A grievance is a complaint that has been presented to a Trust manager by a staff member. A collective grievance or dispute is presented in the same way by two or more staff members. 4.2 Grievances relating to bullying and harassment issues, including those related to bullying and harassment on the grounds of an individual s sex, race, marital status, disability, age, religion or belief, nationality, ethnic or national origin, social background or sexual orientation, will be handled in line with the Trust s Dignity at Work Policy, a copy of which is available on the document library accessible via the Trust intranet. 4.3 Any other grievance relating to discrimination on the grounds of the Individual s sex, race, marital status, disability, age, religion or belief, nationality, Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Page 6 of 15

9 ethnic or national origin, social background or sexual orientation, should be addressed directly through this procedure. 4.4 Job evaluation and banding appeals will be considered under this procedure. 4.5 It is not possible to provide a comprehensive list of all issues that might give rise to a grievance but they may include terms and conditions of employment, health and safety, relationships at work, new working practices, organisational change and equal opportunities. 5.0 Duties 5.1 The Trust will ensure: the provisions of this policy and procedure are conducted fairly and reasonably all staff are informed about the contents of this policy and procedure. 5.2 Managers have a responsibility to ensure grievances are dealt with promptly, in accordance with this policy and procedure and work to achieve sustainable and mutually acceptable outcomes wherever possible. 5.3 Staff have a responsibility to raise the concerns they have with their managers and work with them to seek resolution. 6.0 Standards and Practices 6.1 Representation Staff have the right to be accompanied to grievance meetings by a work colleague, or an official of any trade union, and who is not a family member or acting in a legal capacity. It is for the member of staff to determine their workplace colleague except where there is a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest may arise if the workplace colleague has been previously involved in the concern in another capacity or where they are the current or prospective line manager The companion is able to address the meeting to put and sum up the employee s case, respond on behalf of the employee to any views expressed at the meeting and confer with the employee during the meeting. They do not, however, have the right to answer questions on the member of staff s behalf If a staff member s trade union representative or workplace colleague cannot attend on the proposed meeting date, in consultation with the staff member or representative, an alternative date will be organised (re-arranged date). If the rearranged date cannot proceed, then a third meeting will be arranged and will proceed in the absence of the staff member s trade union representative or workplace colleague. Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Page 7 of 15

10 6.1.4 In circumstances where a grievance is raised by an accredited staff representative, the case will be discussed with the appropriate senior Trade Union Representative or Full Time Officer. 6.2 Timeframe This process aims for grievances and disputes to be resolved promptly and within a reasonable timescale. Normally this will be within 1 month from the complaint being received to resolution unless an appeal is lodged in which case it may take up to 3 months. Where this is not possible, it should be resolved as soon as is reasonably practicable. All parties to the grievance will be kept fully briefed on the grievance arrangements and agree a reasonable timeframe to address the issue. 6.3 Raising a Grievance Informal Resolution - STEP ONE The Trust is committed to resolving grievances and disputes through informal discussion between the manager and staff member. The aim will be to deal quickly and confidentially with the issues raised so that a resolution can be reached and agreed The manager will arrange to meet with the staff member to hear details of the grievance or dispute and agree how the issues raised can be resolved. A written record of the discussion will be kept. The staff member can choose to be accompanied at this stage by a workplace colleague or trade union representative although all parties should recognise the informal nature of this part of the process Where a grievance is not resolved through informal discussion with their manager, the staff member may take up the grievance formally Where the grievance or dispute is about the head of department, it may be appropriate to write to the head of department s line manager Formal Stage STEP TWO Where a member of staff wishes to raise a grievance or dispute formally, it should be raised in writing by the staff member to the next level of management not previously involved. The letter should state clearly the details of the complaint and what outcome is requested Grievance Meeting On receipt of a formal grievance, a grievance meeting with the employee who raised the grievance will be arranged to allow them to explain their case and what outcomes they are looking for. This should be carried out promptly by the head of department or another appropriate manager An investigation will be carried out to establish the facts. Investigation meetings with other staff may be held to establish the facts. An investigation should be carried out fairly, promptly and in confidence. Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Page 8 of 15

11 A member of the HR team, who has had no previous involvement with the case should assist the manager conducting the investigation / meeting and provide advice on the grievance procedure Decide on Appropriate Action Following the meeting, the manager should decide on what action if any, to take. The manager conducting the grievance will arrange to meet again with the member of staff who has raised the grievance to feedback the outcome of the investigation. This will also be confirmed in writing setting out their decision, what action will be taken to resolve the grievance and the right of appeal. This will normally be within one month from receipt Appeal Hearing STEP THREE All staff have a right to appeal against the outcome of a grievance. Appeals should be submitted in writing to the nominated appeal manager within 14 calendar days of the date of the letter confirming the outcome. The appeal letter must state clearly the grounds for the appeal The purpose of an appeal hearing is to review the outcome of the grievance based on the grounds of the appeal and any other matters the appeal panel considers relevant. The appeal hearing manager will determine whether to uphold the original decision at Step Two or whether to substitute an alternative outcome The appeal will be heard by the next level of management not previously involved in the matter. They will be supported by a member of the HR department (who has had no prior involvement with the issue) Where the issue concerns professional or technical matters, the manager hearing the appeal may seek additional advice from an appropriate person with specialist and professional knowledge. This person will form part of the panel and will have had no direct involvement in the case previously The appeal hearing should take place within one month of the receipt of the appeal letter. Where this is not possible, as soon as is reasonably practicable The following actions should be taken prior to the appeal hearing: The member of staff should be informed in writing of the time, date and location for the hearing and their right to be accompanied to the hearing by a workplace colleague or trade union representative. The hearing should be scheduled for a date that is known to be convenient for all attendees including the workplace colleague or trade union representative The manager who heard and responded to the grievance at Step Two should prepare a management case which should outline the findings of the investigation / formal stage and the reason for the decision. This should be sent to the member of staff by the manager hearing the appeal at least 7 calendar days before the appeal hearing together with details of any witnesses the manager intends to call to the hearing. Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Page 9 of 15

12 The member of staff should send to the manager hearing the appeal any statements and documents which they intend to rely on at the hearing, a list of witnesses they intend to call and the details of their workplace colleague or trade union representative The Appeal hearing will be conducted according to the process outlined at Appendix The appeal stage represents the final stage of the procedure and there are no further internal appeal stages. 6.4 Overlapping Grievance and Disciplinary / Capability Cases Where an employee raises a grievance during a disciplinary or capability process and the grievance directly relates to the disciplinary or capability process, proceedings underlying this will be temporarily suspended in order to deal with the grievance, with the exception of circumstances set out in paragraph Where the grievance and disciplinary or capability cases are not related it will be appropriate to deal with both issues concurrently. HR in consultation with Trade Union Representative(s) (where applicable if a member of a union) will determine the appropriate process to be followed in these cases Where the employee involved has already been formally advised that the prima facie allegations are deemed to constitute gross misconduct and that dismissal is a potential outcome, then the disciplinary process will take precedence over the grievance. 7.0 Dissemination and Implementation 7.1 Following approval, a copy of the policy will be stored electronically in the HR section of the Trust s document library on the Internet/Intranet site. 7.2 A copy of the policy will be circulated to members of the HR team to enable them to support implementation with their managers. 7.3 A clear communication will be sent to managers to make them aware that the policy has been issued and that they are responsible for cascading the information to their staff members, including staff members who do not have regular access to Staff Side (JCNC) will be advised of the issuing of the policy. 7.5 Information to promote awareness of the revised policy will also be included in the daily and weekly Chief Executive s bulletins which are circulated to all staff. Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Page 10 of 15

13 Training 7.6 The Learning and Development department run a management programme entitled, Handling Employee Situations which includes a session on grievance handling for staff required to supervise or manage staff. 7.7 The HR Business teams can also provide coaching and advice to managers and staff to supplement more formal training available as the need arises. 8.0 Monitoring effectiveness and Compliance Element to be monitored Lead Tool Frequency Reporting arrangements Number of grievances investigated. Director of HR and OD HR Case Log Annually The Director of HR and OD has lead responsibility for ensuring the policy and procedure is monitored and audited to assess effectiveness and that it is applied equally and consistently. The Senior HR Team will receive a report on the analysis of concerns raised, how they are managed and resolved. Acting on recommendations Change in practice and lessons to be shared The overall effectiveness of the policy will be considered and any remedial actions identified will be recorded in the relevant meeting notes or minutes. The Deputy Director of HR will ensure any subsequent recommendations are undertaken. Any policy / system improvements will be actioned in partnership with Staff Side within six months. Any revision to policy will be communicated to staff. 9.0 Updating and Review This policy has been agreed by Trust management and Staff Side representatives under the Agenda for Change partnership arrangements. The policy will be reviewed every 3 years or earlier if changes to legislation, practice, national or local standards dictate Equality and Diversity 10.1 The Trust is committed to a policy of Equality and Diversity, the aim of which is to ensure that no employee receives less favourable treatment because of their race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin or on the grounds of their age, sex, gender reassignment, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Page 11 of 15

14 union or non-union membership or is disadvantaged by the conditions or the requirements which are not justified by the job to be done Equality Impact Assessment 10.3 As part of its development, this policy and its impact on equality have been reviewed in consultation with staff side and other employee representatives in line with the Trust s Equality Scheme. The purpose of the assessment is to minimise and if possible remove any disproportionate impact on employees on the grounds of race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation or religious or other belief. No detriment was identified. A copy of the assessment is attached at Appendix 2. Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Page 12 of 15

15 APPENDIX 1 The Appeal Hearing 1. The manager hearing the appeal will ask the staff member or their workplace colleague or trade union representative to present the grounds for the appeal against the outcome of the grievance. 2. Both sides may call an adjournment and, if granted, both sides will leave the room. 3. Witnesses may be called by the staff member to present evidence and may be questioned by the presenting manager and the manager chairing the appeal. The member of staff or their workplace colleague or trade union representative may ask further questions of the witnesses. 4. The presenting manager will be requested to present evidence showing the procedure followed leading up to the appeal hearing. 5. The presenting manager may call witnesses who may be questioned by the staff member or workplace colleague or representative and by the manager hearing the appeal. 6. The staff member or their workplace colleague or trade union representative will be required to sum up their case and likewise the presenting Manager. 7. The manager hearing the appeal will call an adjournment to determine the outcome of the appeal. 8. Following the adjournment the meeting will be reconvened (unless agreed otherwise) and the staff member will be advised of the outcome of the appeal. 9. The outcome of the appeal hearing will be confirmed in writing. 10. Where possible a separate meeting room will be provided away from the staff member s department for the staff member to use before and during the appeal hearing. Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Page 13 of 15

16 APPENDIX 2 Initial Equality Impact Assessment Screening Form Name of service, strategy, policy or project (hereafter referred to as policy) to be assessed: Directorate and service area: Human Resources Name of individual completing assessment: Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Is this a new or existing Policy? Revised Telephone: Helen Strickland Policy Aim* The Policy sets out the Trust s approach to managing grievances and disputes raised by members of staff. 2. Policy Objectives* To provide a framework within which staff can raise grievances and disputes. 3. Policy intended Outcomes* 4. How will you measure the outcome? 5. Who is intended to benefit from the policy? The provision of a fair and effective mechanism for handling all grievance and dispute issues raised by staff with the overall aim of reaching a resolution. Through regular monitoring of the grievances reported to the HR Department. All staff 6a. Is consultation required with the workforce, equality groups etc. around this policy? b. If yes, have these groups been consulted? c. Please list any groups who have been consulted about this policy. Yes Yes JCNC, JLNC, Executive Team, Divisional Management Team, Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Page 14 of 15

17 7. The Impact Please complete the following table using ticks. You should refer to the EIA guidance notes for areas of possible impact and also the Glossary if needed. Where you think that the policy could have a positive impact on any of the equality group(s) like promoting equality and equal opportunities or improving relations within equality groups, tick the Positive impact box. Where you think that the policy could have a negative impact on any of the equality group(s) i.e. it could disadvantage them, tick the Negative impact box. Where you think that the policy has no impact on any of the equality group(s) listed below i.e. it has no effect currently on equality groups, tick the No impact box. Equality Group Positive Impact Negative Impact No Impact Reasons for decision Age The policy sets out a fair and effective mechanism for handling all grievance and dispute issues raised by staff. Disability The policy sets out a fair and effective mechanism for handling all grievance and dispute issues raised by staff Religion or Belief The policy sets out a fair and effective mechanism for handling all grievance and dispute issues raised by staff Sex The policy sets out a fair and effective mechanism for handling all grievance and dispute issues raised by staff Race The policy sets out a fair and effective mechanism for handling all grievance and dispute issues raised by staff Sexual Orientation The policy sets out a fair and effective mechanism for handling all grievance and dispute issues raised by staff You will need to continue to a full Equality Impact Assessment if the following have been highlighted: A negative impact and no consultation (this excludes any policies which have been identified as not requiring consultation). 8. If there is no evidence that the policy promotes equality, equal opportunities or improved relations - could it be adapted so that so that it does? How? A commitment to equality, equality of opportunity and diversity is included in the policy. Signed: Helen Strickland Date: 4 July 2011 Grievance and Disputes Policy and Procedure Page 15 of 15

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