Employee Support Pack

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1 Employee Support Pack DISPUTE RESOLUTION - GRIEVANCE Managing Workplace Relationships Effectively TEACHING & SUPPORT STAFF IN SCHOOLS Note: This document replaces the previous Grievance procedure and Dignity at Work Policy and Procedure.

2 Contents Dispute Resolution Flowchart 3 Information for Employees 4 Support Available 7 - Support Network - Trade Union Support - Employee Networks Investigations 8 Useful Contacts 8 2

3 Dispute Resolution Grievance SUPPORT is available, as required, for employee raising the dispute and employee who has a dispute made about them In many cases the issue will be resolved by this stage, however if it remains unresolved then MEDIATION Is actively encouraged to assist with resolving workplace disputes and can be effective at various stages of the dispute resolution procedure Step 1 Informal Step 2 Early Intervention Step 3 Further Investigation Step 4 Appeal Employee tries to resolve the issue directly. If employee does not feel confident in doing this, or an informal approach could make the issue worse, then they should speak to their line manager or Head Teacher. If issue not resolved, employee to raise dispute with the Head Teacher or Chair of Governors (normally within 15 working days of dispute or incident taking place). A Dispute Resolution Proforma is available to provide the details of the dispute. Due to seriousness of complaint and early intervention measures not resolving the issue an investigation is conducted further investigation initiated. On conclusion of the investigation verbal and written feedback will be provided to both parties. If the employee raising the dispute is dissatisfied with the outcome, they have the right to appeal. The appeal should go to the Chair of Governors. An appeal proforma is available to record the details of the appeal. 3

4 The Workplace Employees will be: Valued and treated fairly Consulted and kept informed Well trained and supported The council s aim is to create a working environment in which harassment and bullying are known to be unacceptable, where individuals can feel secure and trusted and where they treat each other with dignity and respect. The Dispute Resolution Grievance Procedure has been introduced to help ensure that workplace relationships are managed proactively and effectively and that should a dispute occur, early intervention takes place and those affected by the dispute work together to find a sensible solution. Workplace disputes may be about working relationships, recruitment or grading through to issues of harassment or bullying. By working with internal partners (for example trade union representatives, Support Officers, Mediators) disputes can be resolved quickly and informally making use of a range of approaches including discussion, mediation, coaching, team briefings and further training as well as more formal investigation. The aim of this Employee Support Pack is to let you know from the outset what you can expect and what is expected of you if a dispute is raised. Information for Employees The following information is for employees raising a dispute or who have a dispute raised against them. What Can You Expect? That the dispute will be taken seriously Total confidentiality will be respected throughout the process The process will be carried out with integrity and sensitivity at all times 4

5 Support If your School pays into the Corporate Human Resources Service you can, where necessary, seek the assistance of a Support Officer to provide support while the issue is being dealt with. If you are a trade union member you will also be able to access trade union support Employee Networks can also be a useful source of support Guidance on the support available and contact details are provided at the end of this document. Timescales The issue should be raised as early as possible The matter will be dealt with within reasonable timescales If there are any delays you will be notified of these and the reasons for delay Feedback You will receive regular feedback on progress of the issue Once the issue has been dealt with and the process is complete you will receive verbal and written feedback (unless agreed otherwise, for example in the case of mediation). Action and follow up Appropriate action will be taken if necessary which may involve: - follow up action within the School. - formal action - change of location for employees Due to confidentiality you will not normally be informed of the outcome of any subsequent action taken against other parties. However if formal action, for example disciplinary action is taken as a result, you may be asked to attend a disciplinary hearing as a witness. You will continue to receive any necessary support following the outcome of the process for a defined period, if required. 5

6 Appeal The employee raising the dispute will have a right to appeal What Is Expected Of You? Early Intervention Approach The employee raising the dispute should attempt to deal with the issue directly at an early stage and be clear about their preferred outcome If this does not resolve the dispute, or the employee does not feel confident to raise the issue informally, then the employee should raise the dispute with their line manager or Head Teacher (if the dispute is about action taken by your line manager or Head Teacher you should raise the dispute to the next level up eg. Head Teacher or Chair of Governors). If an informal approach is likely to make the issue worse then the employee should speak to their manager Employees will be willing to participate fully in any agreed process, for example mediation, round the table discussions, investigations or any other appropriate process Employees should consider Mediation as a positive way to resolve any dispute. Mediation can also be considered at later stages of the process. Confidentiality & Sensitivity You are required to maintain confidentiality throughout the process, respecting the rights of other people involved It will be agreed at the outset how you will stay in contact with your Support Network Officer and how often that contact will be made. That you are open and honest throughout the process. You will be sensitive regarding the impact of the process on other colleagues, for example you should not discuss the issue with other team members. Employees will have confidence in the process and accept that the process will be carried out with complete integrity by all those concerned. 6

7 Outcome The outcome determined may not necessarily be the outcome deemed the most appropriate by you. That you accept that appropriate action may include a change in workplace for one or more of the parties concerned to ensure a good working environment for all concerned and for the good of the School and continuity of service delivery. Both parties will have an opportunity to put their points forward regarding the issues raised without the need to submit counter disputes. Additional Information Where vexatious, malicious or misconceived disputes or appeals are raised then the Head Teacher or Chair of Governors reserve the right to dismiss such disputes or appeals. Disciplinary action will be considered for employees raising vexatious or malicious disputes or appeals. Nothing in this procedure or guidance shall prejudice the legal rights of the employee or employer. Support Available from the Authority Please note that the following support can only be accessed if the School is paying into the Corporate Human Resources Service. For employees raising a dispute or who have a dispute raised against them, additional support is available from the following groups: Support Network The Support Network is a group of employees, representative of the organisation, who have received full training in the Support Network role. They are not expected to give employment law advice to employees, other than general advice on the dispute resolution procedure. The Support Network Officer will offer support as an impartial person who the employee can talk to in the knowledge that their discussions will remain confidential. The Support Network Officer may also accompany the employee to meetings. 7

8 Employees making disputes and employees who have had a dispute made against them will each be offered a Support Network Officer. In certain circumstances consideration will be given as to whether this is appropriate, for instance when an attempt is being made to resolve an issue at a very early stage, a Support Network Officer may not be required. Care First Information on Care First can be found on the intranet or you can contact Employee Healthcare. Employee Healthcare Referrals to request 1-1 counselling can be arranged at Employee Healthcare. Employee Networks The Employee Networks have been refreshed and developed with four key objectives: To improve employee relations To support employee/management/leadership development To help inform service delivery Provide intelligence around community cohesion The Networks are: BME Black Minority Ethnic LGBT Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transexual Disabled Employees Young Employees Carers Representatives from the Employee Networks will be trained members of the Support Network. Your Human Resources Section can provide information on the options available to you. Trade Union/Professional Association Role The Trade Union/Professional Association representative is an official of a trade union/professional association whose role is to provide advice, support and representation for an employee who is a member of their union/professional association. This will include offering advice on the situation to their member, offering support to them and also accompanying them to meetings. The Trade Union/Professional Association role at meetings is to act as support for the employee, they should not answer questions on the employee s behalf, unless this is agreed at the outset of a meeting. Trade Union/Professional Association representatives may be copied into correspondence if their member requests it. 8

9 Investigations If the issue can not be resolved at the informal or early intervention stage, an investigation may be initiated. An Investigating officer(s) will be assigned, either from School or from within the authority or external investigators, depending on a number of factors including the nature of the case. Those carrying out investigations will be trained in the conduct of investigations and investigation standards and have an understanding of and sensitivity to a range of equality issues. Useful Contacts Corporate HR Support Network / Employee Networks Contact details for all the networks are available on the Intranet. Employee Healthcare / Trade Unions Teachers: NUT NASUWT ATL / Support Staff: UNISON / TGWU / GMB

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