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1 Author: Responsible Lead Executive Director: Endorsing Body: Governance or Assurance Committee Grievance and Disputes policy Divisional HR Director Director of Human Resources Human Resources Forum Staff Governance Committee Implementation Date: September 2013 Version Number: 2 Review Date: September 2016 Responsible Person Geraldine Reilly

2 CONTENTS i) Consultation and Distribution Record ii) Change Record 1. INTRODUCTION 2. AIM, PURPOSE AND OUTCOMES 3. SCOPE - Who is the Policy Intended for 4. PRINCIPAL CONTENT 4.1 General principles 4.2 Informal process 4.3 Definitions 4.4 Facilitated meetings/mediation 4.5 Levels of management and timescales 4.6 Disputes 4.7 Formal grievance procedure 4.8 Grievances not concluded at the time of employment terminating 4.9 Post-employment grievances 5. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 6. RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS 7. COMMUNICATION PLAN 8. QUALITY IMPROVEMENT MONITORING AND REVIEW 9. EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT 10. APPENDICES Appendix 1 matrix for pursuance of a formal dispute Appendix 2 matrix for pursuance of a formal grievance Version No. Page 2 of 10

3 CONSULTATION AND DISTRIBUTION RECORD Contributing Author / Ruth Hibbert Divisional HR Director - co-author Authors Consultation Process / Stakeholders: David Boyd - GMB Frances Dodd Associate Director of Nursing Susan Friel - Associate Director of Nursing Alex Rankin Unison Geraldine Reilly Head of HR practice co-author Donald Spence - Unite Mary Samson Unison Annette Shorts Lead Nurse, Occupational Health Distribution: NHSL Intranet: Firstport CHANGE RECORD Date Author Change Version No. Version No. Page 3 of 10

4 1. INTRODUCTION NHS Lanarkshire seeks to encourage open and honest communication at all levels so that staff feel confident in raising issues of concern. However, it is also recognised that individual employees or a section of employees may wish to raise a grievance about matters related to their employment. It is therefore important that NHS Lanarkshire acknowledges this and has a policy and procedure in place to address and resolve these matters fairly, promptly and locally. Staff and their managers are required to make every effort to resolve issues at an informal stage, before resorting to the formal procedure. This policy has been developed in partnership with accredited staff side representatives. It reflects best practice and meets the minimum standards set out in the Dealing with Employee Grievances in NHS Scotland PIN policy. 2. AIM, PURPOSE AND OUTCOMES This policy has been developed to set out a constructive mechanism for all parties to raise grievances and disputes and seek a resolution. It is expected that most grievances will be resolved informally. Only those issues which are unsuitable for informal resolution should be pursued through the formal process. 3. SCOPE This Policy applies to all directly employed staff of NHS Lanarkshire irrespective of age, sex, disability, ethnicity/race, marital or civil partnership status, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy or maternity or gender reassignment. All grievances and disputes, including collective disputes which relate to matters arising out of employment with the organisation will be dealt with in accordance with the undernoted procedure. 4. PRINCIPAL CONTENT 4.1 General principles This Procedure is based on established principles and guidance, specifically that disputes and grievances should where possible be resolved informally and at the lowest possible level of management and as close as possible to the source of the dispute or grievance disputes and grievances should be settled locally without formal reference to a person or body outside NHS Lanarkshire disputes and grievances should be settled as speedily as possible and no later than seven months after the formal notification of the original grievance. the timescales set out in the appendices will be adhered to and only exceeded in exceptional circumstances and by mutual agreement. no action will be taken by or on behalf of either party, during the operation of this policy, which may hinder successful resolution. Version No. Page 4 of 10

5 NHS Lanarkshire will provide appropriate training to both managers and accredited staff side representatives on the application of this policy. Managers should always seek advice from the Human Resources (HR) Directorate when dealing with disputes and grievances. Employees and accredited staff side representatives may also seek advice from the HR Directorate regarding the operation of this procedure. Full-time Officers may be involved at the request of the staff side provided the Director of Human Resources is given prior notification. 4.2 Informal process When an employee feels aggrieved about an issue they must raise it in the first instance with their immediate line manager. The line manager will meet with the employee within two working weeks from the date the issue was raised. Where an issue is raised against the line manager, the employee must 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 grievance 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. Although formal documentation of these discussions is not mandatory, the outcome of this stage of the process should be noted so that details of the episode can be recorded for monitoring purposes. The member of staff will have the right to be accompanied by a colleague, friend or an accredited staff side representative. Witnesses required to attend will also have the right to be accompanied. Human Resources Advisors may attend if required. If necessary, HR advice should be sought on attendance at the informal stage. 4.3 Definitions Although the principles adopted by NHS Lanarkshire will apply to both disputes and grievances, each requires to be dealt with slightly differently. It is, therefore, important at the very outset to identify whether a given set of circumstances falls into the category of dispute or grievance. These are defined as follows: a Dispute is collective in nature and is where a section of the staff are aggrieved in relation to any matter concerning their conditions of service or by a change in circumstances which affects them as a group a Grievance is where an individual member of staff is aggrieved in relation to any matter concerning their conditions of service or by a change in work circumstances which affects them personally. Where there is disagreement on which definition applies this will be resolved by the Director of Human Resources and the staff side organisation concerned. Version No. Page 5 of 10

6 4.4 Facilitated meetings/mediation Managers and employees should always seek an internal resolution of grievance issues. Where this is not possible, both parties should consider the use of an independent third party to help resolve the issue. The third party need not come from outside the organisation. They could be an internal facilitator/mediator, highly skilled manager or HR professional not involved in the grievance process. However, the need for use of external mediators in the most complex of cases may be agreed between the parties. Should the parties concerned wish to make use of third party intervention, this should be notified to the appropriate HR advisor who will be responsible for making arrangements. 4.5 Levels of management and timescales To adhere to the principles outlined at 4.1 the number of levels of management will be strictly limited and timescales set down. The arrangements relative to the formal stages are shown on the matrices appended as Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 The timescales specified are intended to ensure that disputes and grievances are dealt with as quickly as possible, commensurate with managers being able to carry out thorough investigations. NHS Lanarkshire acknowledges the importance of disputes and grievances being dealt with promptly in accordance with the timescales identified in the matrices attached. Where the timescales cannot be met, all parties must be formally notified of the reasons for this by the manager dealing with the grievance. 4.6 Disputes By their nature, disputes require to be subject to a fast track procedure. Accordingly, there will be two formal stages, the last being a sub-committee of NHS Lanarkshire s Board. NHS Lanarkshire will determine the constitution of the panel set up to consider a formal dispute. At each stage in the procedure the case for the staff will be made by an accredited staff side representative or full time official recognised by NHS Lanarkshire for representational purposes. Only the accredited staff side representative and/or full time official and two members of the staff group concerned may attend any hearing. Where a dispute concerns multiple staff side organisation, then each organisation involved will be represented by an officer and a member of staff from the affected group. 4.7 Formal Grievance procedure In keeping with the principles outlined above the method of handling grievances will be as simple as possible commensurate with natural justice. The manager dealing with the grievance will determine how the investigation will be conducted. The member of staff Version No. Page 6 of 10

7 must be given the opportunity to state their case in person. It may not be necessary for a member of staff to bring witnesses to a meeting, but where the employee requests the presence of a witness, this will be permitted. Relevant documentation, including written statements, may be submitted and should be circulated to the relevant parties three working days in advance of the meeting. The manager may also decide to pursue the examination of additional witnesses before reaching a decision. To facilitate a speedy resolution to the grievance, essential witnesses and the manager(s) involved at previous stages of the grievance should be available on the day of the hearing, if required to attend. The member of staff will have the right to be accompanied by a colleague, friend or an accredited staff side representative. Witnesses required to attend will also have the right to be accompanied. The formal grievance procedure has a maximum of three stages, depending on the level at which the grievance originated. There is a right of appeal at each stage and the employee must be specific about the grounds of the appeal. An appeal could be raised on a number of grounds, as follows the procedure- a failure to correctly follow the agreed procedure the decision- the evidence did not support the conclusion reached the action proposed- was inappropriate given the circumstances of the case new evidence- which has genuinely come to light since previous hearing(s) 4.8 Grievances not concluded at the time of employment terminating If a grievance has been raised but not concluded by the time the individual s employment terminates, then the grievance will be concluded by a paper review and a written response. This should be concluded as soon as possible and no later than four weeks after the date of termination. 4.9 Post-employment grievances Should a previous employee raise a grievance within two weeks of their employment ending, the matter will be investigated and a written response will be given within four weeks of receipt of the grievance Frivolous or vexatious grievances An employee who raises a grievance in good faith will suffer no detriment if the grievance is not upheld. Where an employee raises a grievance that is frivolous or vexatious or any individual involved gives deliberately misleading statements, they may be subject to disciplinary action Version No. Page 7 of 10

8 5. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES All staff Staff must ensure they are familiar with this policy and that they must engage with informal attempts to resolve problems at work prior to formally raising an issue. Relevant paperwork must be submitted within the agreed timescales Managers Managers must attend training in the implementation of the policy as required. Managers must ensure that they initially attempt to resolve issues informally and as quickly as possible. Accredited staff side representatives Accredited staff side representatives will attend training in the implementation of the policy as required Accredited staff side representatives will ensure that they initially attempt to resolve issues informally and as quickly as possible. Human Resources staff HR staff will provide advice on the implementation of the policy and attend meetings as required. HR staff will also monitor the implementation of the policy. 6. RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS Managers will be trained in the implementation of this policy via Learnpro. 7. COMMUNICATION PLAN The Policy and process will be communicated via the NHSL internet and intranet. Articles referring to the Policy will be carried in the Pulse and staff briefs. The policy will also be discussed at management team meetings. 8. QUALITY IMPROVEMENT Monitoring and Review This policy will be reviewed in line with any changes to legislation which change the scope or process within NHS Lanarkshire. 9. EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT This policy meets NHS Lanarkshire s EDIA (tick box) Version No. Page 8 of 10

9 Stage 1 Stage 2 MATRIX FOR PURSUANCE OF A FORMAL DISPUTE Appendix 1 STAGE LEVEL DEFINITION TIMESCALE FOR RESPONSE (from date of panel meeting) Divisional Director of Human Resources Director of Human Resources A panel comprising of Divisional Director of Human Resources and two members from the Divisional Management Team A panel comprising of Director of Human Resources and two other Executive Directors Version No. Page 9 of working days 20 working days

10 MATRIX FOR PURSUANCE OF A FORMAL GRIEVANCE Appendix 2 This matrix is for illustration purposes. The panel composition for grievance hearings will depend on who is raising the grievance and what the grievance is about. There will be a maximum of three stages at which a formal grievance can be heard, determined by the seniority of the member of staff raising the grievance. Panel members must not have had previous involvement in the grievance. STAGE PANEL COMPOSITION FOR CONSIDERATION OF GRIEVANCE (Illustration purposes only) Stage 1 The relevant Clinical Director / Head of Department/ Senior Nurse / Service Manager plus appropriate HR support. Stage 2 Stage 3 The relevant General Manager or Head of Function for staff in a corporate function, plus the appropriate HR Manager or Senior HR advisor and professional advisor or senior manager from another department who has not been previously involved A panel comprising of the HR Director, Divisional HR Director or Head of HR and two other senior managers who have not been previously involved. One of these may be a professional advisor. The composition of a panel at stage 3 of the grievance procedure may or may not include executive directors, depending on who is raising the grievance and who has been involved at previous stages Version No. Page 10 of 10 TIMESCALE FOR RESPONSE (from date of panel meeting) 20 working days 20 working days 30 working days