Formal Grievance Procedure

8. If you consider that an informal approach is not appropriate in the circumstances or if you feel that your attempt to raise the grievance informally has not resolved your concern satisfactorily, you may wish to raise your grievance formally, in writing. If applicable, your grievance should provide details of any attempts you have taken to resolve the issue informally. The formal process is in place to:

  • provide you with a course of action if you have a complaint which you are unable to resolve on an informal basis;
  • provide points of contact and timescales to resolve issues of concern; and
  • try to resolve matters without recourse to an Employment Tribunal.

9. The formal grievance procedure is in three stages.

Stage 1 – statement of grievance

  • You must set out your grievance in writing, making clear the nature of your complaint and where applicable, detailing any attempts you have made to try to resolve the issue on an informal basis. You should also provide an indication of what outcome you wish to be achieved. Your written grievance should normally be submitted to your direct line manager. If the grievance relates to your direct line manager and (unless you feel unable to) you have tried to resolve the matter informally with him or her, you may wish to proceed to this formal stage by raising your concern with the next line manager in the chain.
Stage 2 – the meeting
  • The manager hearing the grievance (Hearing Manager) will invite you to attend a meeting to discuss the grievance and to try to come to a solution.
  • This meeting will be held within a reasonable time (and normally within 7 working days of receiving your written statement). However, the meeting may be delayed and / or a second meeting held with you, if the manager concerned requires to carry out an investigation into your complaint in order to make a reasonable response to it.
  • For Dignity at Work complaints, an Investigating Officer will be appointed from the Human Resources Office to carry out the investigation on behalf of the Hearing Manager.
  • You have the right to be assisted at this meeting by a trade union representative or work colleague.
  • Ideally, the Hearing Manager will inform you of his or her decision verbally and this will be confirmed in writing normally within 7 working days of the meeting. If it is not appropriate for the Hearing Manager to inform you of the decision verbally, he or she will write to you, normally within 7 working days of the meeting, to confirm the decision and the reasons for it.
  • The Hearing Manager will also inform you of your right of appeal if you are not satisfied with the decision.

Stage 3 – appeal, if necessary

  • If you do not consider that your grievance has been resolved satisfactorily, you have the right to appeal to your Head of Office/Group (or to the Assistant Clerk/Chief Executive with line management responsibility for your business area if your Head of Office/Group was involved in stage 1 of the process). If the Assistant Clerk/Chief Executive with line management responsibility for your business area was involved in stage 1 of the process, you have the right of appeal to another Assistant Clerk/Chief Executive nominated by the Human Resources Office. You will be told who the nominated Assistant Clerk/Chief Executive is when you are informed of the outcome of your grievance hearing.
  • If you wish to appeal, you should set out the grounds for your appeal in writing and submit it to the appropriate appeal manager within 7 working days of the date you were notified of the outcome of the formal grievance hearing. Your appeal must cover all of the relevant issues including, if appropriate, the process followed by the Hearing Manager at the first stage of the procedure.
    The appeal manager will invite you to attend a meeting to consider the grounds of your appeal. A representative from the Human Resources Office will attend to provide procedural advice and take a note of the proceedings if requested.
  • This meeting will be held within a reasonable time (and normally within 7 working days of receiving your written statement of appeal). Again, however, the meeting may be delayed and / or a second meeting held with you, if the appeal manager requires to carry out any investigation into your complaint in order to make a reasonable response to it.
  • You have the right to be assisted at this meeting by a trade union representative or work colleague.
  • Following the appeal meeting, the appeal manager will notify you verbally of his or her decision, which will be final. The appeal manager will confirm his or her decision in writing and normally within 7 working days of the meeting.
  • The grievance procedure is complete at this stage and there is no further right of appeal. 

    10. Grievance procedures for Assistant Clerk/Chief Executives and the Clerk/Chief Executive are set out in their contracts of employment.

Dedicated Complaint or Appeals Procedures

11. The dedicated appeals procedures referred to in paragraph 3 above are set out in the appropriate sections of the staff handbook, as follows:

Disciplinary Penalties:

– ConductSection: 5.1, paragraph 16

– PerformanceSection: 6.3, paragraph 9

– Attendance Section: 9.8, paragraph 18

Promotion: non selection for interview and failure to get promotion: Section 6.4, paragraph 3

Dismissal: Section 11.3, paragraphs 1 & 2

Medical Retirement: Section 11.4, paragraph 8

Dismissal by reason of redundancy: Section 11.5, paragraph 12

Legal representation: Section 12.1, paragraph 4

Appraisal assessment: Performance Management System Guidance, page 21 Paragraph 11

Temporary Promotion – reversion to substantive grade: Section 13 – Policy of Filling Temporary Vacancies – paragraph 27

Enquiries

12. If you have any enquiries about the grievance or any other appeals procedures, you should contact the Human Resources Office.