Grievance Procedure. Staff Side Representatives Dates June 2014 Senior Human Resources Dates June Dates

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1 Grievance Procedure The Trust strives to ensure equality of opportunity for all, both as a major employer and as a provider of health care. This procedural document has been equality impact assessed to ensure fairness and consistency for all those covered by it regardless of their individual differences and the results are shown in Appendix A Policy Profile Policy Reference: HR 2.9 Version: 5 Author: Deputy Director of HR Executive sponsor: Director of HR and OD Target audience: All directly employed staff Date issued: 24 November 2014 Review date: Nov 2017 Consultation Key individuals and committees consulted during drafting Ratification Ratification Committee: Policy Ratification Group Date: October 2014 Staff Side Representatives Dates June 2014 Senior Human Resources Dates June 2014 Representatives Dates Document History Version Date Review date Reason for change April July 2014 Merged document with CSW Nov 2017 Policy review date required Page 1 of 13

2 Contents Page Number Executive Summary Introduction Purpose Definitions Grievance Companion Status Quo Scope Roles and Responsibilities Managers Role of the Human Resources Directorate Role of the Trade Unions/Professional Organisations Role of the Companion at hearings Procedure for Settling Differences Procedure for Settling Collective Grievances Procedure for Grievance Hearing Status Quo Industrial Action Monitoring Effectiveness and Compliance Dissemination and implementation Dissemination: Implementation Associated documentation Appendices A B Equality Impact Assessment Policy Approval Checklist Page 2 of 13

3 Executive Summary The Trust strives to be an exemplary employer and a place where people wish to work in an environment of open communication. This procedure sets out a framework within which concerns can be raised and resolved. However, employees are encouraged to raise any concerns with their manager as appropriate prior to using the formal stages of this procedure Page 3 of 13

4 1 Introduction The Trust is committed to promoting an environment of open communication between managers and employees so that concerns can be raised and settled as a matter of course and where possible on an informal basis. 2 Purpose The Trust strives to be a place where people want to work and to be a leader in employment practice. This procedure provides the framework within which concerns can be raised and resolved. Employees are encouraged to raise any concerns with their manager as appropriate before using the formal stages of this procedure. 3 Definitions 3.1 Grievance A grievance is a concern that an employee may have about their work, working conditions or relationship with colleagues that they may wish to discuss with management. 3.2 Companion An employee has the right to be accompanied at meetings arranged under stages 2 and 3 of this procedure by a companion who may be either a trade union/professional organisation representative or a work colleague employed by the Trust. A companion may ask questions or make representations but may not answer questions on the employee s behalf. 3.3 Status Quo 'Status quo' shall be defined as whatever practice or agreement existed prior to the difference. This shall continue until the agreed procedure has been exhausted 3.4 Collective Grievance Where a common grievance is held by number of employees, then they or their representative may submit a collective grievance. The procedure outlined in section 6 will be followed, however normally agreed selected representatives will attend the grievance hearing 3.5 Mediation Mediation is a completely voluntary and confidential form of alternative dispute resolution. It involves an independent, impartial person helping individuals or groups reach a solution that's acceptable to everyone. The overriding aim of workplace mediation is to restore and maintain the employment relationship wherever possible Page 4 of 13

5 4 Scope This policy applies to all directly employed staff working in any of the locations registered by St. George s Healthcare NHS Trust with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to provide regulated activities. Locations are not necessarily geographically based or determined. Therefore, the term locations does not just refer to Trust buildings; it is the term used by the CQC to describe the hub of operations for a service or range of services and so includes all activities being performed in the course of performing one s role. This policy may also be used to raise concerns about the application of other employment policies unless those policies have their own appeals procedure This policy does not apply to matters of concern staff may have about service issues concerned with the delivery of care and services to a patient, financial malpractice, unlawful conduct or dangers to the public or environment. These concerns should be raised under the Trust s Raising Concerns at Work Whistleblowing Policy and Procedure. 5 Roles and Responsibilities 5.1 Managers Managers are responsible for ensuring open communication with employees, ensuring they involve employees when making decisions that affect their working life and to show due regard for their opinions before making a final decision. Managers have a responsibility to address concerns raised by employees and try to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Where informal resolution has not been possible, managers should address the concern using the procedure set out at 7 below. Managers have a responsibility for ensuring that all grievances are dealt with in a fair and consistent manner in line with the procedure. 5.2 Role of the Human Resources Directorate Managers may consult the appropriate Human Resources Advisor at any time when a grievance has been raised. A Human Resources Advisor will normally be present at any grievance hearings held at stages 2 and 3 of this procedure. Their role will be to help ensure consistency and fairness in accordance with the Trust's established standards. 5.3 Role of the Trade Unions/Professional Organisations The Trust recognises the valuable role of trade unions and professional organisations in assisting employees at all stages of the procedure. The Trust encourages all employees to be accompanied at formal meetings under this procedure in order to promote fairness and consistent treatment across the Trust. Employees are encouraged to seek advice from their representative and at no time should an employee be precluded from consulting their representative. An employee has the right to be accompanied at meetings arranged under stages 2 and 3 of this procedure by a companion who may be either a trade union/professional organisation representative or a work colleague employed by the Trust. Employees with a disability may require additional or alternative support at meetings, and all reasonable requests will be accommodated. Page 5 of 13

6 It is the employee s responsibility to arrange the attendance of their companion, and employees are encouraged to contact their companion as soon as possible in order to secure their attendance at a hearing. 5.4 Role of the Companion at hearings The companion (Trade Union representative or workplace colleague employed by the Trust as above) will be allowed to make representations on behalf of the employee, ask questions of any witnesses called to the hearing and sum up the employee s case on their behalf. The companion does not have the right to answer questions on the employee s behalf. 6 Procedure for Settling Differences If it is not possible to resolve a grievance informally, employees should raise the issue formally using the stages set out below. Informal Stage Employees are encouraged to take steps to seek informal resolutions to the issues before submitting a grievance at a formal stage, where possible. Informal steps may be approaching the manager to discuss the concerns directly or reporting to the senior manager who will hold informal 121 meetings to gain an understanding of perspectives/events from both sides and hold a facilitated meeting with both parties. The aim of the facilitated meeting/s would be to allow the parties the opportunity to discuss their respective points of view and expectations so that they can come to an understanding and resolution. If it is not possible to resolve the concerns an employee may move to Stage 1 of the procedure. Stage 1 The employee should set out their concern in writing to their manager explaining the nature of the grievance and send a copy of the letter to the Human Resources Department, and where appropriate to their Trade Union or Professional Organisation representative. If the manager is the subject of the grievance, the grievance should be raised with a more senior manager. The employee may wish to seek the advice of their Trade union or Professional Organisation representative to assist them in setting out their concerns. Stage 2 On receipt of a written grievance, the HR Department, on behalf of the manager, will arrange a hearing as soon as possible after agreeing the date with the employee. The employee is responsible for ensuring their companion is available to attend on the agreed date. The employee will be given reasonable notice of the arrangements for the hearing. As far as is reasonably practicable, the hearing will take place within 21 calendar days of receipt of the grievance. The outcome of the hearing will be confirmed in writing within 7 calendar days of the hearing, and the employee will be advised of their right to appeal to stage 3 of the procedure if they are not satisfied with the outcome. The appeal should be made in writing to the Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development within 21 calendar days of the date of the letter confirming the decision. Page 6 of 13

7 Stage 3 (appeal) On receipt of a written appeal against the outcome of the stage 2 hearing, another manager, who will normally be a more senior manager, will arrange a hearing as soon as possible and will agree the date with the employee. The employee is responsible for ensuring their companion is available to attend on the agreed date. The employee will be given reasonable notice of the arrangements for the hearing. As far as is reasonably practicable, the hearing will take place within 21 calendar days of receipt of the grievance appeal. The outcome of the appeal will be confirmed in writing within 7 calendar days of the hearing. The outcome of any grievance process should be relayed to both the employee who submitted a grievance and the manager who the grievance concerned. 7 Procedure for Settling Collective Grievances Where a grievance is held by a number of employees, their representative may follow the procedure outlined in Section 8, accompanied by an agreed number of the staff involved. Overlapping Grievance and Other Employment Cases Where an employee raises a grievance during another employment process, for example, during a disciplinary process, the disciplinary or other process will normally be completed but in some circumstances it may be temporarily suspended in order to deal with the grievance. Where the grievance and disciplinary cases are related, it may be appropriate to deal with both issues concurrently, and the employee given the opportunity to raise their concerns during the investigation process and/or at a disciplinary hearing. Grievances about Fellow Employees In some cases an employee may be the cause of grievances amongst his/her colleagues. Every attempt will be made to resolve these issues through informal discussions with the parties and/or where the parties are willing a mediator may be able to help. 8 Procedure for Grievance Hearing Arrangements for the hearing should be made in conjunction with the employee raising the grievance, and the hearing should normally take place within 21 calendar days of receipt of the written grievance or letter of appeal. On receipt of the letter setting out the grievance or appeal the manager or HR Department will acknowledge receipt of the grievance and ask the employee to provide dates when they and their representative will be available to attend a hearing. As soon as the date is confirmed, employees should be given reasonable notice of the arrangements, and as far as possible, 7 calendar days notice will be given. If the employee, having been given that notice and agreed the date and time of the hearing beforehand, then fails to attend without good reason, then the manager conducting the hearing, having taken account of all the circumstances may reach a decision in the absence of the employee. Page 7 of 13

8 There is no set procedure for the conduct of a hearing but it is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that the employees are given a proper opportunity to have their grievances heard. Prior to the hearing, the employee and manager against whom the grievance has been lodged should notify the Chair of the hearing the grievance of the names of any witnesses who may be called, and should ensure that any relevant information and documentation is sent to the Chair before the hearing. This will help ensure the hearing can proceed without delay. In most cases it will be appropriate for the manager against whom the grievance is made and the employee to be present throughout the hearing. However, the Chair has discretion to decide on the best format for the hearing taking account of all the circumstances. In cases where the employee alleges they are being harassed or bullied by the manager against whom the grievance has been raised, the parties may attend separately for part or all of the hearing. If necessary, the Chair may adjourn the hearing if an investigation into the case is required, and may call any witnesses who can provide information pertinent to the case. Where professional and/or clinical issues are involved, and where appropriate, the senior professional manager or officer or his/her nominee should be involved at this stage. At all stages of the procedure, employees must inform their departmental heads of the action they are taking and obtain permission before absenting themselves from their place of work whether to consult representatives or attend meetings. Such permission will not be unreasonably withheld provided the employee has given adequate notice. 9 Status Quo Unless the matter can be resolved immediately, the status quo shall apply for this purpose unless mutually agreed otherwise: 10 Industrial Action No withdrawal of labour, lockout or other industrial action will take place if all stages of this procedure have not been exhausted in accordance with the stated time limits. 11 Monitoring Effectiveness and Compliance Responsibility for monitoring the operation rests with the Director of Human Resources and Organisational development on behalf of the Trust Board. The Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development will monitor the cases on an annual basis to ensure that the procedure is being applied consistently and fairly and will submit a report to the Human Resources and Workforce sub-committee of the Trust Board. The report will include an analysis of the number of cases and the resolution achieved, by stage, issue and by Division/Directorate. The report will also be submitted to the Trust s Partnership Forum. The table following outlines the process for monitoring compliance with this document. Page 8 of 13

9 . 12 Dissemination and implementation 12.1 Dissemination: This policy replaces the Grievance Procedures previously in place in the Trust and Community Services Wandsworth. Managers will be informed by the HR department that a new procedure has been agreed and a message will be included in the weekly electronic bulletin Implementation Training will be provided by the Human Resources Department to line managers on the application of this policy. Page 9 of 13

10 Monitoring compliance and effectiveness table Element/ Activity being monitored Grievances registered by staff Lead/role Deputy Director of Human Resources Methodology to be used for monitoring All cases are recorded on the HR database by key demographics to check whether staff from particular groups raise concerns. Frequency of monitoring and Reporting arrangements The reports will be submitted to the HR and Workforce Committee on a six-monthly basis. The report will identify if trends have been identified and the steps being taken to address any concerns. The report will also be submitted to the Partnership Forum on an annual basis. Acting on recommendations and Leads In the event of actions being required, the Divisional Director of Operations or Corporate Director will be responsible ensuring that actions are completed. Required actions will be identified and completed in a specified timeframe.. Change in practice and lessons to be shared Required changes to practice will be identified and actioned within a specific timeframe. A lead member of the team will be identified to take each change forward where appropriate. Lessons will be shared with all the relevant stakeholders. The lead or committee is expected to read and interrogate the report to identify deficiencies in the system and act upon them. Page 10 of 13

11 13 Associated documentation This policy should be read in conjunction with the following Trust policies:- Balancing Work and Personal Life Capability Procedure Disciplinary Procedure Dignity at Work: A Policy against Harassment and Bullying Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblowing) Page 11 of 13

12 Appendix A 1. EQUALITY AND IMPACT ASSESSMENT FORM INITIAL SCREENING Service/Function/Policy Directorate / Department Grievance Procedure Human Resources Assessor(s) 1.1 Who is responsible for this service / function / policy? Human Resources New or Existing Service or Policy? Date of Assessment J McCullough Existing November Describe the purpose of the service / function / policy? Who is it intended to benefit? What are the intended outcomes? The Grievance Procedure sets out the Trust s process for considering grievances from employees. 1.3 Are there any associated objectives? E.g. National Service Frameworks, National Targets, Legislation, Trust strategic objectives The Grievance Procedure has been produced to ensure that employees are treated fairly and consistently and with the clear objective of enabling employees to raise a concern about their employment that will be dealt with promptly. The procedure has been screened for relevance to diversity. 1.4 What factors contribute or detract from achieving intended outcomes? 1.5 Does the service / policy / function / have a positive or negative impact in terms of race, disability, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief and Human Rights? Details: [see Screening Assessment Guidance] 1.6 If yes, please describe current or planned activities to address the impact. 1.7 Is there any scope for new measures which would promote equality? 1.8 :What are your monitoring arrangements for this policy/ service 1.9 Equality Impact Rating [low, medium, high]- see guidance notes 3.1 above Low 2.0. Please give you reasons for this rating If you have rated the policy, service or function as having a high impact for any of these equality dimensions, it is necessary to carry out a detailed assessment and then complete section 2 of this form The policy was written with the intention that all employees are treated fairly and consistently. Review date of policy: November 2017 Page 12 of 13

13 Appendix B Checklist for the Approval of the Grievance Procedure To be completed by the Corporate Affairs Manager or Corporate Administrator 1 2 Title of document being reviewed: Title Is the title clear and unambiguous? Is it clear whether the main document is a policy rather than guidelines or procedures? Rationale Are reasons for development of the document stated? /No/ Unsure Comments Development Process Are people involved in the development identified? Is there evidence of consultation with stakeholders and users? Content Are the objectives and aims defined? Is target population as mentioned in Scope clear? Are the intended outcomes described? Are the statements clear and unambiguous? Evidence Base Is the type of evidence required to support the document identified explicitly? Are the references cited in full? Are all supporting documents referenced? Consultation Where appropriate, e.g. HR Policies, has the Partnership Forum been consulted on the document? Approval and Ratification Has the table of control information been completed on the front cover of the Policy? Has an Equality Impact Assessment been completed? Is the EIA is an appendix to this policy? Dissemination and Implementation Does the plan include the necessary training and support to ensure compliance? Is there a plan to review or audit compliance with the document? Review Date Is the frequency of review identified? Overall Responsibility for the Document Is it clear who will be responsible for co-coordinating the dissemination, implementation and review of the document? Approval by the Policy Approval Group: Signature of the Chair of the Policy Approval Group: Date: Page 13 of 13

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