(A pdf version of this policy is available for download here)
1. Policy Statement
The Council recognises that individual employees or groups of employees may, from time to time, feel aggrieved about an aspect of their employment and accepts that each employee has the right to raise this grievance and to expect that management will consider it and respond.
The purpose of the accompanying procedure is to provide a framework for dealing promptly and fairly with such grievances. The aim is to resolve grievances as near as possible to their point of origin.
Matters appropriately dealt with under the Council’s grievance procedure include all questions relating to the individual rights of employees in respect of their employment other than:
- Grievances that have already been considered in accordance with the procedure;
- Grievances arising from a disciplinary or capability process in which the employee is already involved and where there is an appeals procedure in place;
- Grievances in respect of issues over which the Council has no control. e.g. external legislation; and
- Grievances that are already the subject of a collective grievance or dispute.
The timescales shown in the accompanying procedure may be altered by mutual agreement.
The nature and number of grievances raised in accordance with the accompanying procedure will be monitored annually by the Clerk.
This policy and the accompanying procedure will be the subject of periodic review.
Responsibility for conducting this review will rest with the Clerk.
2. Procedural Guidelines
2.1 Informal Resolution
Where an employee is aggrieved about any matter relating to their employment, they should raise the matter informally with the Clerk as soon as possible and, other than in exceptional circumstances, within twenty working days of the incident or event. However, employees will be permitted to raise as part of a grievance a series of directly related incidents having a cumulative effect.
The Clerk should consider and seek to resolve the grievance within ten working days. Whether or not this proves possible, the Clerk should in every case inform the employee of the decision and, if appropriate, any action taken.
Employees may wish to seek the advice of a trade union representative or colleague prior to raising a grievance at this informal level.
2.2 Formal Resolution
If the employee is not satisfied with the result of the informal process, they can take the matter up with the Clerk, in writing, stating the nature of the grievance. This should be done within ten working days.
The Clerk will arrange a meeting with the employee to discuss the grievance as soon as possible and normally within ten working days. If the Clerk hearing the grievance determines that further investigation is required – having listened to the employee’s submission – the meeting will be adjourned for a period during which time the Clerk or an appropriate investigator will conduct any necessary research; including, if appropriate, liaising with other parties. The investigation will be concluded as soon as reasonably practicable
It is not expected that other parties would attend the reconvened hearing. However, if it is determined by the Clerk that their contributions would facilitate consideration of the grievance they will be asked to make themselves available, in order that they may respond to any matters raised by the aggrieved individual during the course of the hearing.
A formal written response to the grievance should be issued within 5 working days of either the initial or subsequent grievance hearing as appropriate.
If the employee is still aggrieved, there is a right of appeal to a panel of members of the Staffing Committee. The notice of appeal should be submitted in writing within ten working days of receipt of the formal written response issued by the Clerk. The Appeal Panel shall consider the appeal within twenty working days of receipt of the written appeal.
There is no further right of appeal.
2.4 Grievances Relating to the Town/Parish Clerk
If the grievance relates directly to the action or omission of the Clerk, the grievance should be submitted in writing directly to the Chairman of the Staffing Committee who will investigate liaise with the Vice Chairman of the Staffing Committee and respond to the grievance as outlined above.
If the grievance is being raised by the Clerk on his/her own behalf, the grievance should be submitted in writing to the Chairman of the Staffing Committee as above. If the grievance relates to the action or omission of the Chairman of the Staffing Committee then it should be directed to the Vice Chairman of the Staffing Committee
An individual raising a formal grievance may be accompanied throughout the process by a trade union representative or colleague of their choice and reasonable preparation for the hearing will be allowed.
[Adopted by Full Council at the meeting held on Wednesday 8th June 2022 under minute number FPC134/22. Due for review in June 2025.]