Stepping Stones of Scawby. Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures

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1 Stepping Stones of Scawby Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures

2 Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures for Stepping Stones of Scawby Employees Our Staff will maintain a well-motivated, highly skilled and professional staff team. However, occasionally action will need to be taken to encourage improvement in individual conduct and performance. If a member of staff is subject to disciplinary action, fair and consistent procedures will be employed: 1. The incident will be fully investigated and the facts established. 2. Investigations will be non-discriminatory and apply equally to all staff irrespective of sex, marital status, sexual preference, race or disability. 3. At every stage, the member of staff concerned will be advised of the nature of the complaint and given an explanation for any penalty imposed. 4. Staff will be given the opportunity to state their case, and be accompanied by a colleague or Trade Union Representative at each stage if she/he wishes. A recording device may be used to ensure that an accurate record of the meeting can be made. 5. Staff will not be dismissed for a first breach of discipline except in the case of gross misconduct (see below). 6. Staff have a right to appeal against any disciplinary action taken against them. Investigations will be carried out by the Manager and/or the Board of Directors of St Hybalds Trust. Informal Action Informal discussion Before taking formal disciplinary action, the Manager or Executive Head of Scawby Academy will make every effort to resolve the matter by informal discussion with all parties concerned. Only where this fails to bring about satisfactory improvement or outcomes will disciplinary procedures be formally implemented. Minor disagreements amongst staff, can usually be resolved at the regular meetings or informally by discussion. Cases of minor misconduct or unsatisfactory performance are usually best dealt with informally. A quiet word is often all that is required to improve an employee s conduct or performance.

3 If informal action does not bring about an improvement, or the misconduct or unsatisfactory performance is considered to be too serious to be classed as minor, employers should provide employees with a clear signal of their dissatisfaction by taking formal action. Where a more serious situation arises when a dispute cannot be resolved, or when the Manager/Executive Head of Scawby Academy is dissatisfied with the conduct or activities of an employee the following action will be taken: Formal Action The first step in any formal process is to let the employee know in writing what it is they are alleged to have done wrong. The letter should contain enough information for the individual to be able to understand both what it is they are alleged to have done wrong and the reasons why this is not acceptable. If the employee has difficulty in reading, or if English is not their first language, the employer should explain the content of the letter orally. The letter should also invite the individual to a meeting at which the problem can be discussed, and it should inform the individual of their right to be accompanied at the meeting this can be either a fellow staff member or a Trade Union representative. The employee will also be given copies of any documents that will be produced at the meeting. 1. Where possible, the timing and location of the meeting should be agreed with the employee. The length of time between the written notification and the meeting should be long enough to allow the employee to prepare but not so long that memories fade. 2. The employer should hold the meeting in a private location and ensure there will be no interruptions. 3. At the meeting, the employer should explain the complaint against the employee and go through the evidence that has been gathered. 4. The employee should be allowed to set out their case and answer any allegations that have been made. The employee should also be allowed to ask questions, present evidence, call witnesses and be given an opportunity to raise points about any information provided by witnesses. An employee who cannot attend a meeting should inform the employer in advance whenever possible. If the employee fails to attend through circumstances outside their control and unforeseeable at the time the meeting was arranged (e.g. illness) the employer should arrange another meeting. A decision may be taken in the employee s absence if they fail to attend the re-

4 arranged meeting without good reason. If an employee s companion cannot attend on a proposed date, the employee can suggest another date so long as it is reasonable and is not more than five working days after the date originally proposed by the employer. This five day time limit may be extended by mutual agreement. Outcome and actions Following the meeting the employer must decide whether disciplinary action is justified or not. Where it is decided that no action is justified the employee should be informed. Where it is decided that disciplinary action is justified the employer will need to consider what form this should take. Before making any decision the employer should take account of the employee s disciplinary and general record, length of service, actions taken in any previous similar case, the explanations given by the employee and most important of all whether the intended disciplinary action is reasonable under the circumstances. It is normally good practice to give employees at least one chance to improve their conduct or performance before they are issued with a final written warning. However, if an employee s misconduct or unsatisfactory performance, or its continuance is sufficiently serious, for example because it is having, or is likely to have, a serious harmful effect on the organisation, it may be appropriate to move directly to a final written warning. In cases of gross misconduct, the employer may decide to dismiss, even though the employee has not previously received a warning for misconduct. 10 CODE OF PRACTICE 1 DISCIPLINARY AND GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES 11 Following the meeting, an employee who is found to be performing unsatisfactorily should be given a written note setting out: 1. The performance problem 2. The improvement that is required 3. The timescale for achieving this improvement 4. A review date 5. Any support the employer will provide to assist the employee The employee should be informed that the note represents the first stage of a formal procedure and that failure to improve could lead to a final written warning and, ultimately, dismissal. A copy of the note should be kept and used as the basis for monitoring and reviewing performance over a specified period. First formal action misconduct 1. Where, following a disciplinary meeting, an employee is found guilty of misconduct, the usual first step would be to give them a written warning setting out the nature of the misconduct and the change in behaviour required.

5 2. The employee should be informed that the warning is part of the formal disciplinary process and what the consequences will be of a failure to change behaviour. The consequences could be a final written warning and ultimately, dismissal. The employee should also be informed that they may appeal against the decision. A record of the warning should be kept, but it should be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after a specified period. Final written warning If conduct or performance remains consistently unsatisfactory, or if the misconduct is sufficiently serious, a final written warning will be given, making clear that any other serious misconduct may result in dismissal. A copy will be kept on record but will be disregarded after twelve months subject to satisfactory conduct and/or performance. The warning will clearly state that dismissal will result from failure to comply. In certain circumstances, a member of staff may receive a Final Written Warning to remain on record indefinitely. This course of action will follow when a member of staff has only avoided dismissal due to extenuating or mitigating circumstances. Gross Misconduct If after investigation, it is deemed that a member of staff has committed an act of the following nature, dismissal will be the normal outcome: 1. Child Abuse 2. Serious infringement of health and safety rules 3. Assault 4. Persistent bullying, sexual or racial harassment 5. Being unfit for work through the abuse of drugs or alcohol 6. Gross negligence that either causes, or might cause injury, loss or damage to persons or property 7. Theft, fraud or deliberate falsification of the Pre-School s documents 8. Deliberate damage to Stepping Stones of Scawby property 9. Bringing the setting into disrepute through verbal actions or misuse of the internet/social networking While the alleged incident of gross misconduct is being investigated, the individual concerned is likely to be suspended with pay. This is not to be regarded as a form of disciplinary action and will be for as short a time as possible. Any decision to dismiss will only be taken after a full investigation. If the staff member has been found to have committed an act of gross misconduct, they will be dismissed without notice.

6 Appeals At each stage of the disciplinary procedure, the staff member must be told that she/he has a right of appeal against any disciplinary action. The appeal must be made in writing to the Manager of Stepping Stones of Scawby within 5 working days of a disciplinary interview. Where possible, the appeal hearing should be within 10 working days of the receipt of the appeal. The St Hybalds Academy Board of Directors will serve as an appeals committee. They should not have been involved in the original disciplinary action and will hear the appeal and impartially adjudicate the case. Procedures will be informal and the member of staff may take a colleague or Trade Union Representative. 1. The staff member will explain why she/he is dissatisfied and may be asked questions 2. The Manager will be asked to put their point of view and may be asked questions 3. Witnesses may be heard and may be questioned by the appeals committee and by the staff member, Manager or Board of Directors. 4. The Board of Directors will consider the matter and make known its decision as soon as practicable. A written record of the meeting will be kept. Grievance Procedure If any staff member is dissatisfied, she/he must have the opportunity for prompt discussion with her/his immediate Manager. For the Manager this would usually be the Executive Head of Scawby Academy or a member of the Board of Directors. If the grievance persists, the staff member should then approach firstly the Executive Head and then the Board of Directors for further discussion, at which the employee may, if she/he wishes be accompanied by a work colleague or trade union representative. There must be a right of appeal, initially with the full Management team and Board of Directors, at which a work colleague or trade representative may be present. The aim of this procedure is to settle the grievance fairly and as near as possible to the point of origin. It is intended to be simple and rapid in operation. The latest review of this procedure was held in: July 2014 The latest review of this policy was held in: June 2015 The latest review of this policy was held on: 6 th April 2018 And was attended by: All management and staff members

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