CLEVEDON TOWN COUNCIL GRIEVANCE POLICY & PROCEDURE

PURPOSE AND SCOPE

 

It is the policy of the council to give employees the opportunity to air and seek redress for any individual employment grievance which they may have. This document describes the procedure which aims to facilitate a speedy, fair and consistent solution to an individual employee’s employment grievance. This procedure is produced in line with the ACAS Code of Practice 2009 as set out in the Employment Act 2008.

 

 

PRINCIPLES

 

a)   At every stage in the procedure the employee will be given the opportunity to state their case before any decision is made.

b)    Grievances will be dealt with promptly and consistently

c)    At all formal stages the employee will have the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or trade union representative during the Grievance Hearing.

d)    An employee will have the right to appeal against any outcome of a Grievance Hearing.

e)   At no time will an employee be penalised or victimised for having raised a Grievance against the council

 

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1.PROCEDURE

 

Wherever possible, any grievance should be raised informally with the Town Clerk, or if this is inappropriate with the Chairman of Finance & General Policy. In the case of the Clerk to the council raising a grievance, this should be directed to the Chairman of Finance & General Policy unless the complaint is about the Chairman of Finance & General Policy in which the complaint shall be made to another Chairman of Committee. The recipient shall investigate the grievance and if possible resolve the issue or ask that the employee put the issue into writing. .

 

1.1 Written Statement: If the employee or the recipient of the grievance does not consider it appropriate to raise the grievance informally then the employee should submit a formal grievance in writing to the Town Clerk, or if this is inappropriate with the Chairman of Finance & General Policy.

 

1.2 Investigation & Grievance Panel: Generally, within a reasonable period of time e.g. five working days of receipt of a written complaint, the Town Clerk, or if this is inappropriate the Chairman of Finance & General Policy or hearing panel will arrange a meeting with the employee. The Hearing Manager will endeavour to make the meeting arrangements mutually convenient and will arrange a confidential location, free from interruptions. The panel will investigate the substance of the complaint and hear submissions from the employee concerned together with such other submissions or evidence as they shall consider appropriate and take such steps as they shall consider necessary to resolve the issue raised. Careful consideration of the evidence and the necessary steps required to resolve the problems would be given to the grievance. The employee may call witnesses by prior arrangement with the panel. There is no right for a Member or employee implicated in an employee’s grievance to cross examine the aggrieved during a grievance hearing but the panel may wish to make its own investigations through interviewing these individuals and/or other witnesses separately. The Panel may ask the employee what they would like to happen as a result of raising the grievance and bear this in mind when preparing the response.

 

1.3 Response: The Hearing Manager will advise the decision to the employee in writing and, where appropriate, include an action plan to assist in the resolution of the problem

 

 

2Appeal:

If the employee is dissatisfied with the decision of the Town Clerk, the Chairman of Finance & General Policy or the Panel on their complaint, they may appeal against the decision to the Chairman of the Council by written notice within five working days of the decision. An Appeal may be raised if:

 

§The employee thinks the finding, or action plan, is unfair

§ New evidence has come to light

§ The employee thinks that the procedure was not applied properly

 

On receipt of the appeal the council’s Appeals Panel shall arrange to meet and consult with the employee, the Town Clerk, or the Chairman of Finance & General Policy, Members concerned and any other persons, as they shall consider appropriate without unreasonable delay. The Appeal Hearing Chair shall consider the issues and shall then take all such steps, as they may consider necessary to resolve those issue; the decision of the Appeal Hearing will be final. The council will need to ensure that the Members involved in the hearings are able to act impartially and reasonably at all times. The outcome of the appeal should be conveyed to the employee in writing in a timely manner.

 

 

4. Bullying or Harassment:

If a grievance concerns alleged bullying or harassment the matter should be reported promptly to the Town Clerk, or the Chairman of Finance & General Policy . The complaint will then be investigated in line with the above. As a result of an investigation into a claim of harassment disciplinary action may be instigated against any alleged perpetrators of the action or in the case of alleged perpetrators being elected Members a Code of Conduct complaint lodged by the council to the Monitoring Officer or Standards Board for England

 

 

5. Right to be Accompanied:

At any formal stage of the procedure an employee may be accompanied by a fellow employee of their choice or their trade union representative or official of a trade union (appropriately accredited) but as this is an internal procedure they will not be entitled to be accompanied by any external supporter e.g. partner, parent, solicitor etc. This right to be accompanied is enshrined in the Employment Relations Act 1999. To exercise this right the employee should make a reasonable request. The companion will be allowed to address the hearing, put and sum up the employee’s case, respond to views expressed at the hearing and to confer with the employee during the hearing (sometimes in an adjournment) but is not allowed to answer questions on the employee’s behalf, address the hearing if the employee does not wish it or prevent the employer from explaining their case.

 

 

6. Hearing Panels

The Hearing Panel will be formed from the Finance & General Policy Committee. The Appeal Panel will be formed from the remaining Councillors who do not sit on the Finance & General Policy Committee. The panels will be selected by ballot as and when required.

7. Confidentiality:

So far as is reasonably practicable, the council will keep any grievance or complaint of harassment confidential between the Town Clerk, or the Chairman of Finance & General Policy and the Member investigating the grievance or complaint, the employee and the person about whom the grievance or complaint is made. If it is necessary to investigate the matter with any other employee or person, the employee will be so advised.

 

 

8. Record Keeping:

In all cases, written records of the nature of the grievance raised, the employer’s response, action taken (with reasons), details of any appeal and subsequent developments will be retained and kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.