Grievance Procedure. Version: 3. All Southern Health Staff.

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1 SH HR 26 Version: 3 Summary: Keywords (minimum of 5): (To assist policy search engine) Target Audience: This document provides a framework for the resolution of staff initiated grievances, disputes or differences of opinion arising from their employment with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. Grievance, ACAS, appeal, representation, support, dispute, resolution. All Southern Health Staff. Next Review Date: December 2018 Ratified by: HR Policy Scrutiny Group Joint Consultative and Negotiating Committee Date of meeting: 21 October November 2015 Date issued:. Author: Sponsor: Louise Jones Senior HR Manager Sandra Grant Director of Workforce, Development and Communications. For translation of this document, an interpreter, or a version in large print or Braille or audio, please contact the Communications Team on

2 Version Control Change Record Date Author Version Section Reason for Change Feb 2014 May 2015 Rita Hawkshaw, HR Manager- Best Practice Louise Jones Throughout General update of terminology. 3.1 Appendix 1 Grievance Form General alignment of timelines and process with other workforce (employment relations) policies and procedures. Amended if Stage 1 informal approach not resolved then submit formal grievance with 10 working days (previously, 5 working days but, consistent with other employment relations policy appeals submission) Added person(s) subject to complaint, made aware of allegations by CM and given opportunity to respond ( also ref to new template letter) Replaced failure to attend on second alternative date, grievance heard in absence with. normally treated as withdrawn (reflects guideline/letter) 4 Appeal with other workforce (employment relations) policy. Appendix Grievance Flowchart updated to reflect process. Reduction in minimum notice from ten (10) working days of a meeting or hearing to five (5) working days notice. Reduction to be reviewed after 3 months /9/15 3 Extend review date from October to 9/12/15 3 Reviewed previous amendment approved, no further amendments required. Review date extended for 3 years Reviewers/Contributors Name Position Version Reviewed & Date HR Scrutiny Group, HR Team, Staffside, Joint Consultative and Negotiating Committee and Strategic Workforce Committee HR Team, Staffside Policy Scrutiny Group and Joint Consultative and Negotiating Committee Joint Consultative and Negotiating Committee Version 1, July & August 2012 Version 2, November 2013, May

3 Contents 1. Introduction 4 2. Stage 1 Informal approach to settling grievances Stage 2 Formal approach to settling grievances Stage 3 Appeal Collective grievance procedure. 8 Appendices Appendix 1 Grievance procedure flowchart Appendix 2 Grievance form.. 12 Appendix 3 Notification of appeal form

4 1. Introduction 1.1. Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust ) believes that all staff should be treated fairly and with respect. This Policy and Procedure provides a framework for assisting staff in resolving disputes and/or differences arising from their employment within the Trust. These matters will be resolved fairly and quickly, either informally or formally. This will be done in line with current legislation and best practice guidance outlined by the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). 1.2 The Grievance Policy and Procedure permits staff to seek redress without fear of reprisals, victimisation or subsequent discrimination or disadvantage and that they will receive appropriate support and feedback. 2. Stage 1 Informal approach to settling grievances 2.1. Individuals who feel aggrieved should in the first instance, raise problems with their immediate manager with a view to resolving these informally without proceeding to the formal procedure However, if the grievance is about the immediate manager, the individual may raise the grievance with the next level of management Dealing with grievances informally can often lead to speedy resolution of problems and may well resolve the matter directly The manager should reply verbally, as soon as possible, and in any event within five (5) working days of the grievance being reported. Both manager and individual may find it helpful to keep a note of any communications The manager will meet with the individual to discuss the issue(s) that have been raised and the desired outcome/resolution to be achieved from the process The manager should make discreet investigations in order to resolve the matter promptly and fairly. Where the grievance is about another member of staff, that individual must be given the opportunity to answer the grievance and put their side of the case to the manager It may be appropriate at this point for the manager to arrange a facilitated discussion between the two parties with a view to resolving the issue and agreeing a way forward Following the discussion, within five (5) working days, the manager will write to relevant parties to confirm the outcome and any actions that have been agreed. Grievance Toolkit - Template If the grievance is resolved informally the manager and staff member(s) involved will take forward actions as agreed. In the event of the grievance not being resolved informally, the aggrieved individual has the option to instigate the formal stages of the procedure. 4

5 3. Stage 2 Formal approach to settling grievances 3.1. Formal Stages Where the grievance has not been resolved informally with the manager, the individual should submit their formal grievance in writing to the next level of management within ten (10) working days using the Grievance Form at Appendix 2. A copy of the grievance should be given to the Human Resources professional. Manager s Guidelines are available to support the formal process. Grievance Toolkit Guidelines In consultation with the Human Resources professional, the manager receiving the grievance will consider the document submitted and gather all the necessary facts in advance of arranging a hearing. If the issues are complex this may involve commissioning a fuller investigation and this could for example involve obtaining information from witnesses If the manager receiving the grievance commissions an investigation, the Trust s Workforce Investigations Policy and Procedure should be followed. The manager receiving the grievance will undertake the role of the Commissioning Manager and will review the investigatory report upon completion of the investigation. The Commissioning Manager is responsible for keeping the individual informed of the details and progress of the investigation Grievance Toolkit Template 2. Any person(s) who are subject to a complaint should also be made fully aware of the complaint (Grievance Toolkit Template 3) and are subsequently given the opportunity to respond to the allegations Once all of the facts have been established, the manager receiving the grievance will arrange a hearing with a note taker, providing at least five (5) working days notice. Managers will be expected to discuss arrangements and coordinate availability for the formal meeting with the individual and/ or their representative where possible, to enable the process to move forward as swiftly as possible. The aggrieved individual will be called to the hearing and any other named parties within the grievance as appropriate Grievance Toolkit Template 4. The individual may also request the attendance of other members of staff (witnesses) to support their case The individual has the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or a Trade Union representative The individual has the right to seek an adjournment to allow further time for appropriate representation to be obtained, however the individual will be required to take all necessary steps to attend the hearing on the nominated date. The Trust will look to provide a maximum of two alternative dates/times in the event of the individual and / or representative being unable to attend the first date set, as long as it is reasonable and not more than five (5) working days after the date proposed by the manager, unless mutually agreed between the manager and the individual. If the individual does not attend on the second alternative date, their grievance would normally be treated as withdrawn. Grievance Toolkit Template 6 5

6 At the hearing those present will normally be the manager (who will chair the hearing), the individual with their Trade Union representative or work colleague and the Human Resources Advisor, if appropriate, any named parties within the grievance and their Trade Union representative or a work colleague. A note taker may also be present together with any witnesses (see notification letter Grievance Toolkit Template 5) or other individuals whom the manager chairing the hearing considers to have information important to the case. This will usually include the manager involved in the informal stage with whom the individual has raised the matter, who will have the opportunity to respond to the individual s explanation of their complaint and explain the reasons for their decision or position on the issue raised. If a workforce investigation has been completed, the Investigating Officer may be called to the hearing to present their findings At the hearing, the individual will be given the opportunity to explain the complaint and outline their desired outcome/resolution The Chair may adjourn the hearing for a number of reasons, including to: obtain further information; clarify particular points; and/or allow the individual to confer with their Trade Union representative or work colleague Once the manager chairing the hearing is satisfied that they have heard sufficient information to inform their decision, they will adjourn the hearing for a period to consider the grievance and their response Having considered all of the relevant information, including an investigation report if applicable, the Chair will reconvene the hearing to communicate the outcome of the grievance If the grievance is upheld, the potential action to be taken will be decided by the Chair with reference to the appropriate Trust policy If the grievance is not upheld, the individual who submitted the grievance will be advised of the right of appeal and how to make such an appeal (see 4.1.1) The Chair will follow up their decision in writing within five (5) working days of the grievance hearing. Grievance Toolkit Template If a decision within this timescale is not possible, the individual will be kept informed in writing about the reason for the delay and when a response can be expected If, within ten (10) working days of the date of receipt of the written decision, the individual has not appealed, the grievance will be deemed to have been settled to the satisfaction of the individual. 4. Stage 3 Appeal An individual who remains aggrieved with the outcome of the Stage 2 hearing in respect of the original grievance after completion of the Formal 6

7 Stage, should, as soon as possible but no later than ten (10) days from the receipt of the written decision, submit an appeal in writing, using the Notification of Appeal Form (Appendix 3) to the next level of management and a copy to the Human Resources professional. Manager s Guidelines are available to support the appeal process, see Grievance Toolkit Guidelines In consultation with the Human Resources professional, the manager receiving the appeal will arrange an appeal hearing within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of the Notification of Appeal Form. The individual will be given at least five (5) working days notice of the date of the hearing. Managers will be expected to discuss arrangements and coordinate availability for the formal meeting with the individual and/ or their representative where possible, to enable the process to move forward as swiftly as possible. Grievance Toolkit Template The panel for the hearing should consist of the manager receiving the appeal as the Chair and a HR representative unrelated to the case. The Chair will identify an appropriate person to act as note-taker. For matters of efficiency the Trust may choose to record the hearing and retain a copy of the recording or typed transposed notes The individual has the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or a Trade Union representative The individual will be required to take all necessary steps to attend the hearing on the nominated date. The Trust will look to provide a maximum of two alternative dates/times in the event of the individual and / or representative being unable to attend the first date set, as long as it is reasonable and not more than five (5) working days after the date proposed by the manager, unless mutually agreed between the manager and the individual. If the individual does not attend on the second alternative date, their grievance would normally be treated as withdrawn. Grievance Toolkit Template The appeal hearing will normally take the form of a review of the formal stage and not a complete re-hearing The Chair of the appeal panel will have the authority and seniority to overturn a decision made by the manager following the formal grievance hearing (Stage 2). It may not always be possible for the chair not to have been involved at an earlier stage, although it will be avoided if possible and appropriate Formal paperwork providing evidence for the grounds of appeal must be submitted by the individual no later than (5) working days before the appeal hearing, to the appropriate manager. The Chair of the appeal panel will forward this to the management representative (who was the manager of the stage two grievance hearing) to enable them to provide a full response at the appeal hearing The management representative will be requested by the chair of the appeal panel to prepare a management response to the appeal. This response should be submitted to the Chair of the appeal panel no later than five (5) working days before the appeal hearing. The Chair of the appeal 7

8 panel will forward this to the appellant to enable them to provide a full response at the appeal hearing At the appeal hearing those present will normally be the manager (who will chair the hearing), the individual and their Trade Union representative or work colleague and the Human Resources representative. A note taker may also be present together with any individuals whom the manager chairing the hearing considers have information important to the case. This will usually include the manager involved in the formal stage with whom the individual has raised the matter, who will have the opportunity to respond to the individual s explanation of their complaint and explain the reasons for their decision or position on the issue raised The individual will be given the opportunity to explain the complaint and say how they think it should be resolved. The manager may adjourn the hearing to obtain further information which may include commissioning further investigation if appropriate, clarify particular points or allow the individual time to confer with their Trade Union representative or work colleague The manager will adjourn the hearing for a period to consider the grievance and their response. The manager should give their decision in writing within five (5) working days of the hearing. Grievance Toolkit Template In the event of the manager being unable to reach a satisfactory agreement or the matters under consideration raise important principles of general application to staff on which the manager wishes to receive guidance, then the decision may be postponed for a mutually agreed period. If further guidance is required this will be completed in a timely manner and the decision conveyed to the individual in writing as soon as possible thereafter, and within five (5) working days of the appeal hearing Where requested, a copy of the meeting notes will be provided either as a photocopy of the handwritten notes, a typed transcript or a copy of the recording If the appeal is upheld, the potential action to be taken will be decided by the Chair of the appeal panel with reference to the appropriate Trust policy If the appeal is not upheld, the decision will be final and the matter will conclude The appeal stage of this procedure is the final stage of this process and the decision will be final. 5. Collective grievance procedure 5.1 General The Collective Grievance procedure complements the procedure for dealing with individual grievances and is informed by the ACAS guidelines Staff using this procedure must be aware that they cannot then use the Individual for raising the same issue. 8

9 5.1.3 Dependent upon the type of grievance, the initial stages of the Collective may be omitted if mutually acceptable to both management and to staff representatives and/or the group of staff affected At each stage, possible methods of settling the grievance should be considered including possible reference to the Secretaries of the Joint Consultative and Negotiating Committee (JCNC) for advice. 5.2 Procedure Informal If a group of staff decide they have a collective grievance with management, this should first be taken up with their immediate manager informally, who should discuss it with them or their representative(s) within five (5) working days and reach a decision. If more than one department is involved, the appropriate managers must try together to resolve the problem informally Formal If the grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of the staff concerned and they wish to take it further, then they must put their issue in writing to the Heads of Human Resources (see Appendix 2, Grievance Form) The written submission must cover the following points: The specific cause of the grievance; The specific staff involved in the dispute (not necessarily by name but using job titles, locations etc. for it to be quite clear who is affected and who is not); The name(s) of the representative(s) nominated or elected by the staff to act as their spokesperson(s) A hearing will be arranged as soon as possible, or at least within five (5) working days, when the staff representative(s) and management will meet to discuss what can be done to settle the dispute. If still unresolved, a written record of the hearing should be agreed which should be copied to the Heads of Human Resources Appeal Where the grievance still remains unresolved, it will be referred to a further hearing involving representatives of management and either the Chief Executive or a panel of Directors of the Trust, nominated by the Chief Executive. This hearing will take place as soon as possible and no later than thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of the failure to agree. This decision will be notified in writing to the staff and their representative(s) The purpose of this panel will not be to re-hear the grievance but to review the decision made at the formal stage and consider any new facts or information which could change the previous decision on the dispute/grievance. 5.3 Reference To ACAS 9

10 5.3.1 Once all steps of the procedure have been exhausted, the grievance may be referred to ACAS* by joint agreement of the parties to the dispute or grievance for advice on conciliation, mediation and arbitration. 5.4 Communication In the event of a national dispute, local staff representatives are expected to keep management informed and explore ways with management of avoiding disputes, if possible, in such a way as to cause no disruption to patient care, directly or indirectly It is important that managers ensure that staff not involved but with close working relationships with those who are, be kept informed of the practical implications At any stage of this procedure, notices concerning the cause and progress of the dispute may be prepared for staff and the press. In all instances management or staff representatives should inform each other of the intended communication Communication must be maintained during any dispute between management and staff representatives. * ACAS is a statutory independent body set up to provide conciliation and mediation as a means of avoiding and resolving disputes between employers and employees; to make facilities available for arbitration and to provide advisory services to industry on industrial relations and related matters. 10

11 Appendix 1 - GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE FLOWCHART Grievance Raised Stage 1: Informal discussion with Line Manager and outcome confirmed in writing Resolved Yes informal actions taken forward No Stage 2: Submit Grievance Form to next level of management (Appendix 2) Is investigation needed? YES/NO. If YES Commissioning Manager & Investigating Officer appointed. Terms of Reference for investigation signed off. Investigation conducted. Investigation Report to Commissioning Manager. Commissioning Manager arranges and Chairs formal grievance hearing (Stage 2) Decision in writing Upheld Not upheld Potential Action to be decided by Chair of hearing Stage 3: Appeal submitted to next level of management (Appendix 3) Appeal Panel convened decision is final Potential action to be decided by Chair of Appeal Upheld Not upheld 11

12 Appendix 2 GRIEVANCE FORM This form is submitted as I wish to raise my grievance formally at Stage Two of the, as my grievance was not resolved at Stage One (informal). You are required to complete this form and send it to the next level of management and HR within ten (10) working days of receipt of the written outcome of the informal Grievance procedure (Stage One) Please read the before completing this form. If you require assistance in completing this form, please contact your Trade Union representative, HR or your manager. If you consider you will require any adjustments to enable you to attend a meeting under this procedure, please specify. Full Name: Contact Number: Job Title: Department: Immediate Line Manager s Name: Name of TU Rep/Workplace Colleague: Contact Number of Representative: Note: For collective grievances, please list the names, job titles, department and contact details for each individual involved on a separate sheet and attach securely. Please describe the nature of your Formal Grievance Please provide a description of your concerns including precise information such as dates of events, meetings or correspondence, whether this is a one-off issue or part of a sequence of events, names of those involved and any reference to relevant documents or policies. You may attach additional sheets if required. Please attach any relevant documentation in support of your grievance securely and list below: Who do you believe is responsible for your grievance? 12

13 Please state the steps you have taken to resolve your concerns: Please state your desired outcome and why and how you believe this will resolve the issue: I confirm that the above statements are true to the best of my knowledge, information and belief. I give my consent for this information to be circulated to relevant members of staff on a need-to-know basis for the purpose of investigating my formal grievance. Signature:... Date of Submission:... (Person raising grievance) Manager s Signature:... Date of Receipt:... NB: Staff member to attach outcome letter from Stage 1. PLEASE RETAIN A COPY OF THIS FORM AND ATTACHMENTS FOR YOUR RECORDS 13

14 Appendix 3 NOTIFICATION OF APPEAL FORM You are required to complete this form and submit it within ten (10) workings days of receiving written notification of the decision of your Hearing/Meeting. Your written notification will state who the completed appeal form should be sent to. Once you have formally submitted your Appeal, it will be acknowledged in writing. Late appeals or appeals on any other grounds will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. You are advised to consult your representative before submitting this completed form. Full Name: Contact Number: Job Title: Department: Immediate Line Manager s Name: Name of TU Rep/Workplace Colleague: Contact Number of Representative: Date original Hearing/Meeting held: Chair of the Hearing/Meeting: Reason for Hearing/Meeting: Disciplinary / Managing Performance (Capability)/ Managing Sickness Absence/Bullying and Harassment/Redundancy* Sanction imposed/decisions made/outcome: * delete as appropriate Your reason for appealing I wish to formally appeal on the grounds of: (please tick relevant box) Information arising that was not available at the time the decision was made Undue severity or inconsistency of the sanction The Trust s policy and procedure have not been followed properly NB If you are claiming information not available at the time you MUST explain why the previously undisclosed information was not presented at the Hearing before the decision you are appealing against was made. 14

15 Provide details of the grounds of your appeal: My representative is available on the following dates: The following documentation is attached with my appeal form: Medical evidence enclosed Supporting evidence enclosed Other relevant documents enclosed YES / NO YES / NO YES / NO List the documentation: I confirm that the above statements are true to the best of my knowledge, information and belief. I understand that making any false, malicious or untrue allegations may result in disciplinary action being taken against me by the Trust. (In the most serious cases, making false, malicious or untrue allegations can be treated as gross misconduct). I give my consent for this information to be circulated to relevant members of staff on a needto-know basis for the purpose of investigating my appeal. Signature:... Date of Submission:... (Person raising appeal) PLEASE RETAIN A COPY OF THIS FORM AND ALL ITS ATTACHMENTS FOR YOUR RECORDS Manager s Signature:... Date of Receipt:... Appeal Meeting Date:... (Manager to attach outcome/decision letter and notes of meeting) 15

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