Grievance Policy. Reviewer: GAPF Polices Subgroup. Review date: 9 February Uncontrolled When Printed. Version

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1 Grievance Policy Co-ordinator: Reviewer: Approver: Lead of Review Group Date approved by GAPF: 9 February 2017 GAPF Polices Subgroup Review date: 9 February 2022 Grampian Area Partnership Forum (GAPF) Uncontrolled When Printed Version The provisions of this policy, which was developed by a partnership group on behalf of Grampian Area Partnership Forum, apply equally to all employees of NHS Grampian except where specific exclusions have been identified

2 NHS Grampian Grievance Policy This document is also available in large print and other formats and languages, upon request. Please call NHS Grampian Corporate Communications on Aberdeen (01224) or (01224) This Policy has undergone Equality and Diversity Impact Assessment. Revision History: Document Title Policy Version Date approved by GAPF Review Date Grievance Policy Version 2-2 -

3 NHS Grampian Grievance Policy Contents Section Section Title Number Page number 1 Introduction 4 2 Aim 4 3 General Principles 4 4 Types of Grievance 5 5 Procedure Informal Stage Facilitated meetings/mediation First Formal Stage Second and Final Formal Stage Grievances with wider NHSG consequences 8 6 The Modified Grievance Procedure 8 7 Failure to Engage 9 8 Overlapping grievance and disciplinary cases 9 9 Status Quo 9 10 Involvement of Human Resources Department Monitoring and review Appendices: Appendix 1: Grievance Procedure Flowchart 11 Appendix 2: Grievance Recording Form 12 Appendix 3: Grievance Notification Forms 13 Appendix 4: Guidance on Conduct at Formal Hearings 16 Grievance Policy Version 2-3 -

4 Grievance Policy 1. Introduction NHS Grampian encourages open and honest communication at all levels. However, it also recognises that from time to time employees may wish to raise grievances, problems or complaints with their employer. Employees and mangers are encouraged to make every effort to resolve issues at the most local level possible, before resorting to the formal procedure. It is recognised that some matters cannot be resolved at informal level and will need formal resolution. Matters should be dealt with as they occur and be settled as near to the point of origin as possible and as quickly as it is reasonably practicable. However, it is recognised that a formal procedure is sometimes necessary to resolve some grievances quickly, to allow employees to pursue grievances relating to their working conditions without fear of recrimination, and to prevent conflict and maintain employee relations. Victimisation as a result of an employee raising a grievance or assisting in the investigation of such a grievance will not be tolerated, and will be dealt with under NHS Grampian s Dealing with Bullying and Harassment Policy and, where necessary, NHS Grampian s Management of Employee Conduct Policy, both of which were developed in line with the NHS Scotland PIN Policies. 2. Aim To offer a constructive mechanism for all parties to air their differences and seek to find mutual agreement. 3. General Principles All stages of this policy are subject to the following general principles: All grievances, problems, complaints and disputes, including collective disputes, concerning matters arising during employment with NHS Grampian will be dealt with in accordance with the undernoted procedure. It is the policy of NHS Grampian that an employee(s) will receive a fair hearing concerning any grievance. The spirit and intention of this policy is to promote the best possible relations between all parties. If the employee(s) has a poor command of English, a face to face interpreter or the Language Line telephone interpretation service will be provided at NHS Grampian s expense. Throughout the formal and informal stages of the procedure, the employee(s) has the right to be accompanied by a representative of a trades union or professional organisation, or a work colleague, friend, or relative not acting in a legal capacity. Grievance Policy Version 2-4 -

5 Where a particular manager is not available, the matter may be taken forward by a nominated deputy or peer to ensure that the matter is progressed within a negotiated and agreed timescale. This will be notified to the person raising the grievance. It is recognised that informal approaches can be an aid to resolving grievances. Therefore, the provisions outlined in this procedure can include informal discussions between management, the employee(s) and their trade union/professional organisation representatives. In order to support early resolution of a grievance, a facilitated meeting or mediation with an independent third party can be sought at any stage of the procedure by the agreement of both parties. It is recognised that all stages of the procedure may not be applicable to an individual and/or group of employees, depending on the particular circumstances (for example, where the chain of command is short). Wherever possible, no person who has previously been involved either formally or informally should sit on the grievance panel. Employees who have difficulty expressing themselves on paper, or, for example, whose first language is not English, are encouraged to seek help from a work colleague, a representative of a trades union or professional organisation or a representative from the relevant Workforce Directorate department in setting out their grievance. The equality, diversity and rights of employees must be respected at all stages of the procedure eg they must not be discriminated against and should be treated fairly and with civility etc. Managers should affirm confidentiality with all concerned at all stages of the procedure. 4. Types of Grievance Individual This occurs when one employee raises a grievance, problem or complaint with their employer. Collective Occurs when a group of employees share a grievance. 5. Procedure See Grievance Procedure Flowchart Appendix Informal Stage When an employee or group of employees, feels aggrieved about an issue, the matter should be raised in the first instance with their immediate line manager. The line manager will meet with the employee as soon as possible, and within a Grievance Policy Version 2-5 -

6 reasonable timescale from the date when the grievance was notified. This timescale should take account of the nature and seriousness of the case and should be negotiated and agreed with all parties involved. At this stage, an employee acting as a representative of a group of employees (collective) may raise the issue informally with the line manager to seek early resolution. Such grievances may however be raised at the First Formal Stage. Where the grievance lies with the line manager, then the employee has the right to raise the matter informally with the next level of management. If no resolution is achieved from the informal meeting, the employee may choose to initiate the formal procedure. The choice to progress to the formal stage of the process must be notified to the next level of management within a reasonable timescale from the date of the informal meeting. Anonymised details and outcome of these discussions are to be submitted by the manager to the PALS module of Datix (see appendix 2) so that details of the episode can be recorded for audit purposes Facilitated Meetings or Mediation Managers and employees should always seek to resolve grievance issues in the workplace. Where this is not possible informally, both parties should consider the use of an independent third party to help resolve the issue. The third party could be either an internal facilitator or mediator, an appropriately skilled manager or HR professional not involved in the grievance process. However, in the most complex cases it may be agreed between the parties that external mediators are required. Should the parties concerned wish to make use of third party intervention, this should be notified to the Human Resources (HR) Operational Team who will be responsible for making appropriate arrangements. 5.2 First Formal Stage In the event that the employee(s) remain dissatisfied after informal consideration of the grievance, the matter will be referred to the First Formal Stage. The employee will normally lay out the details of their grievance in writing using the Grievance Notification Form attached at Appendix 3. This should be sent to the manager who will be responsible for hearing the grievance. On receiving the notification, the relevant manager will arrange a formal grievance hearing, as soon as possible, and within a reasonable timescale from the date of receipt of the notification of the grievance. Managers should contact the HR Operational team for advice and support. The relevant manager and an appropriate member of the HR Team will hear the First Formal Stage of the grievance procedure. Grievance Policy Version 2-6 -

7 In the event that an Executive Director or other Board member raises a formal grievance, it will normally be heard by two non-executive members of the Board. The HR Operational Team or designated manager will arrange for all sides to present written statements setting out their views on the grievance. These must be circulated to all parties at least five working days before the hearing. Guidance on Conduct at Formal Hearings is given at Appendix 4. Where possible a verbal outcome should be given on the day to both parties supported by a further written reply detailing the Panel s decision, the reasons for the decision and the action, if any, the employer intends to take, will be given to the employee(s) within 5 working days of the hearing. This letter must inform the employee of their right to appeal to the next stage of line management. The case and outcome must also be recorded by the HR Operational Team on their case management system. The employee must give notification they wish to proceed to the next stage of the formal grievance process within one calendar month from the date when the outcome of the first formal stage was received. 5.3 Second and Final Formal Stage In the event that the employee(s) remains dissatisfied after the first formal stage, the matter should be referred to the second and final formal stage. A hearing will be arranged as soon as possible and within a reasonable timescale of receiving the notification of the appeal to the next appropriate level of management. A Panel comprising a more senior manager than already involved at the First Formal Stage, a Staff Side representative from a professional organisation/trade union of which the employee is not a member and an appropriate member of the HR Team will hear the Second Formal Stage of the grievance procedure. Management and staff member(s) will be informed of the membership of the panel as soon as this is finalised. Those arranging the hearing will make requests for Staff Side Representatives to be on the panel via the Employee Director s office. Such requests will highlight the trades union or professional organisation already involved. The HR Operational Team or designated manager will arrange for all sides to present written statements setting out their views on the grievance. These must be circulated to all parties at least five working days before the hearing. The Stage 2 management case will be presented by the Stage 1 Presenting Manager accompanied by the Stage 1 Chair. Guidance on Conduct at Formal Hearings is given at Appendix 4. Where possible a verbal outcome should be given on the day to both parties supported by a further written reply detailing the Panel s decision, the reasons for the decision and the action, if any, the employer intends to take, will be given to the Grievance Policy Version 2-7 -

8 employee(s) within 5 working days of the hearing. The case and outcome must also be recorded by the HR Operational Team on their case management system. With the exception of where the provisions of clause apply, this represents the end of the internal process Grievances with Wider NHS Grampian Consequences Where the grievance relates to an issue where the outcome might affect more than one individual (examples include: the application of terms and conditions of service, the implementation of a Board-wide policy or matters which could become litigious, or the focus of an industrial dispute) and if the issue cannot be resolved at Stage 2, then it may be referred to the Director of Workforce and the Employee Director. They will be responsible for determining whether the grievance raised has wider organisational consequences beyond the aggrieved party. If agreed as having wider organisational consequences, the Director of Workforce will organise a formal hearing, which will normally be heard by one non-executive or an executive member in addition to the Director of Workforce and the Employee Director, and other panel membership determined locally as appropriate. This panel must have clear details of the organisational potential consequence in their deliberations. The outcome must also be recorded on Datix by the HR Operational Team. This exhausts the internal process for cases which fall into this category. 6. The Modified Grievance Procedure The modified grievance procedure will apply in relation to the grievance only if; The person raising the grievance left NHS Grampian employment less than 3 months before raising the grievance or complaint. The person raised the grievance before they left NHS Grampian, but the standard procedure was not completed before they left NHS Grampian employment. There are two steps within the modified grievance procedure: 1. Written statement of grievance the person must put their grievance in a written statement and send a copy to NHS Grampian. 2. Written response NHS Grampian must write back to the person giving their response to the points which have been raised within 28 days of receiving the grievance. The manager dealing with the grievance should contact the HR Operational Team for advice and guidance and the response will be signed by the appropriate manager. This is a paper procedure with no hearing or appeal process involved. The outcome also to be recorded on Datix. Grievance Policy Version 2-8 -

9 7. Failure to Engage There may be occasions when an employee, who has raised a grievance, is repeatedly unable or unwilling to attend a grievance hearing. This may be for various reasons, for example, illness. In such cases, consideration will be required to be given to all the facts before coming to a reasonable decision on how to proceed. Consideration will include: The seriousness of the issue under consideration; Medical opinion on whether the employee is fit to attend the grievance hearing, where relevant; How similar cases in the past have been dealt with; and Whether, therefore, it is considered fair and reasonable in the particular circumstances to proceed in the absence of the employee. Where an employee continues to be unavailable to attend a grievance hearing, it may be concluded that a decision, in their absence, will need to be based on the evidence available. The employee must be informed where this is to be the case. 8. Overlapping grievance and disciplinary cases Where an employee raises a grievance during a disciplinary process, the disciplinary process may be temporarily suspended in order to deal with the grievance. Where the grievance and disciplinary cases are related however, it may equally be appropriate to deal with both issues concurrently. Where there are disagreements regarding the suspension of the disciplinary process, the final decision will be made by the Director of Workforce in discussion with the Employee Director. 9. Status Quo Status quo is defined as the working arrangements in place prior to the change over which the grievance has been raised. Where possible, the status quo should operate until the grievance procedure has been exhausted. However, the status quo may be set aside where: Continuation of status quo will result in a breach of statutory or other mandatory regulations; Agreement is reached by both parties to do so; or The grievance is about action already agreed or taken through collective agreement. Grievance Policy Version 2-9 -

10 10. Involvement of the Workforce Directorate Advice on the application of this procedure should be sought from the HR Operational Team. A member of the HR Operational Team will be present at the hearing of all formal grievances. 11. Monitoring and review The effectiveness of this policy and procedure will be reviewed in partnership in two years, led by the Grampian Area Partnership Forum (GAPF). Grievance Policy Version

11 Appendix 1: Grievance Procedure Flow Chart Mediation/Facilitation In order to support early resolution of a grievance, mediation/facilitation can be sought at any stage of the procedure by either employee or line manager. Informal stage Employee(s) raises issue with line manager Issue resolved Employee(s) informs employer of grievance Issue not resolved Issue resolved First formal stage Employee(s) raises matter in writing with appropriate manager. Manager gives written response including right of appeal in writing within 5 working days of the hearing. Issue not resolved Second & final stage Employee appeals to the appropriate manager within a reasonable timescale (up to one calendar month), on receipt of the outcome of the first formal stage. Both manager and employee must provide written evidence 5 days prior to the hearing. Written responses of decision given within 5 working days. No further right of appeal. Grievance Policy Version Grievances with organisational consequences Where the grievance has wider organisational consequences, as agreed by the Director of Workforce and the Employee Director, a board level panel will be formed. No further right to appeal.

12 Appendix 2 Grievance Policy Version

13 Appendix 3 NHS Grampian Grievance Notification Stage 1 This form is for use when an employee wishes to raise a Formal Grievance on any matter they consider to be unacceptable or unsatisfactory in respect of their employment within NHS Grampian. Use of this form, both as notification of a Grievance and as a record of subsequent discussion(s) and decision(s), is restricted to the formal stages of the grievance procedure i.e. it is not for use during the informal stages of discussion. Section A: For Completion By The Employee Raising The Grievance. Name of employee raising the Grievance: Job Title: Department: Name of employee s Representative: Trade union/professional body/friend/colleague not acting in a legal capacity: Details of the grievance being raised: Has the matter being raised informally? Yes No * If No, why did you not raise it informally? Grievance Policy Version

14 * If Yes, detail the reason(s) why you were not satisfied with the outcome: Signed Date: On completion of Section A, the form should be returned to the manager who you were advised would formally hear your grievance if you were not satisfied with the outcome of the informal stage. Grievance Policy Version

15 NHS Grampian Grievance Notification Stage 2 This form is for use when an employee wishes to raise a Formal Grievance on any matter they consider to be unacceptable or unsatisfactory in respect of their employment within NHS Grampian. Use of this form, both as notification of a Grievance and as a record of subsequent discussion(s) and decision(s), is restricted to the formal stages of the grievance procedure i.e. it is not for use during the informal stages of discussion. Section A: For Completion By The Employee Raising The Grievance. Name of employee raising the Grievance: Job Title: Department: Name of employee s Representative: Trade union/professional body/friend/colleague not acting in a legal capacity: Details of the grievance being raised: Signed Date: On completion of Section A, the form should be returned to the manager who you were advised would formally hear your grievance if you were not satisfied with the outcome of the first formal stage. Grievance Policy Version

16 Appendix 4: Guidance on Conduct at Formal Hearings The main purpose of a formal hearing is to ensure that all present have a full understanding of the issue so that an impartial decision can be based on facts. The hearing should adopt as flexible an approach as possible, while adhering to the following principles: Both parties must be given the opportunity to present cases orally and call any witnesses. It is the responsibility of individual parties to ensure they make arrangements for the attendance of witnesses; The employee or their representative shall state their case in the presence of the management representative and may call witnesses who shall remain present only when they are giving evidence; The management representative shall have the opportunity to ask questions of the employee/representative and witnesses; The manager hearing the grievance or members of the panel shall have the opportunity to ask questions of the employee/representative and witnesses; The management representative shall state their case in the presence of the employee/representative and may call witnesses who shall remain present only when they are giving evidence; The employee/representative shall have the opportunity to ask questions of the management representative and witnesses; The manager hearing the grievance or members of the panel shall have the opportunity to ask questions of the management representative witnesses; Written evidence not previously circulated and presented before the hearing may only be admitted at the discretion of the manager hearing the grievance or members of the panel; The management representative and the employee or their representative shall have the opportunity to sum up their case if they so wish. The employee or their representative shall have the right to speak last; having opportunity to sum up their case if they so wish. In their summing up neither party may introduce any new matter. The manager hearing the grievance or members of the panel may, at their discretion, adjourn the hearing in order that further evidence may be produced by either party to the dispute or for any other reason; and The manager hearing the grievance or members of the panel shall deliberate in private only recalling both parties to clear points of uncertainty on evidence already given. If recall is necessary, both parties shall return notwithstanding only one is concerned with the point giving rise to doubt. The Chair should ensure that everyone present has a full understanding of the issue. Grievance Policy Version

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