The following general principles will apply to UCM’s grievance procedures:
- Each step and action will be taken without unreasonable delay.
- Whenever the employee is invited by UCM to attend a meeting, the employee must take all reasonable steps to attend.
- At all stages of the procedure the employee will have the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or a work colleague of their choice. If the employee’s companion is unable to attend, the employee may suggest an alternative date, provided it is within 5 working days of the original date.
- The timing and location of meetings must be reasonable.
- Meetings will be conducted in a manner that enables both UCM and the employee to explain their case.
- For appeal hearings following a decision, as far as is reasonably practicable, UCM will be represented by a more senior manager than attended the first meeting (unless the most senior manager attended that meeting).
- Whenever UCM or the employee is required to send the other a statement, the original or a copy will suffice.
2. Grievance Procedure
A grievance is a problem or concern relating relating to work, the working environment or working relationships. It may also relate to certain disciplinary action which UCM has taken or is proposing to take against an employee, such as formal warnings.
Most problems encountered in the workplace will be attempted to be resolved informally between employee and manager. If the matter cannot be resolved informally, the following procedure will apply.
Note: This procedure does not form part of an employee’s Contract of Employment with UCM and may be changed by UCM at any time.
If a grievance is about a breach of UCM’s Equal Opportunities Policy such as victimisation, bullying, harassment or discrimination, the Equal Opportunities Policy will apply, including additional information about the procedure to be followed.
2.1 Informal Stage
It is hoped that most complaints and grievances can be resolved informally by discussion with an employee’s immediate line manager. Therefore, the first stage in dealing with most problems is to book a meeting with them and talk about it. Dealing with problems in this way can often lead to a quick resolution, as line managers may be able to resolve the matter directly.
2.2 Formal Stage
In the event that a grievance cannot be resolved informally, then the formal procedure will apply. Grievances should be raised as soon as possible after the event giving rise to the grievance, and normally within two weeks.
Step 1 – Written Statement
The employee must set out their grievance in writing and send this statement to the Director. This can be done by email.
Step 2 – Meeting
The Director will invite the employee to attend a meeting to discuss the grievance. The meeting will normally take place within 10 working days of the grievance notification but not not unless or until:
- The employee has informed the Director of the basis for the grievance set out in the statement under step 1
- The Director has had a reasonable opportunity to consider its response to that information.
After the meeting, the Director will inform the employee of the decision and the employee’s right to appeal if they are not satisfied with the decision.
Step 3 – Appeal
If the employee wishes to appeal, they must inform the Director within 5 working days of receiving the decision. The Director will invite them to attend a further meeting. After the appeal meeting, the Director will inform the employee of the final decision.
The Director may appoint another member of staff to conduct the meeting, if appropriate.
At any stage of the grievance procedure, the employee may be accompanied at meetings by a trade union representative, if applicable, or fellow employee of their choice. They may confer with their companion during the course of the meeting, and the companion may be invited to address the meeting. However, the companion may not answer questions on behalf of the employee. The person conducting the meeting on behalf of UCM may also be accompanied by any one additional member of staff.
At each formal stage of the process records will be kept detailing any evidence collected, interviews conducted and decisions made.
3. Modified Grievance Procedure
In the unusual circumstance that an employee has already left the employment of UCM and wishes to raise a grievance, they may do so provided that both parties agree that a modified procedure can be followed. The former employee must in this instance set out their grievance and the basis for it in writing and send their written statement to the Director. The Director will set out a response in writing and send it to the former employee.