Grievance Policy

WHAT IS A GRIEVANCE?

You may, at some time during your employment at the School, have concerns, difficulties or issues about your work, working conditions or relationships with colleagues and superiors that you wish to address, and if possible, resolve amicably. These concerns, difficulties or issues are referred to as “Grievances” under this policy, and can include issues such as:

  • terms and conditions of employment;
  • health and safety;
  • work relations and issues with colleagues and superiors;
  • bullying and harassment;
  • working environment, policies and procedures;
  • equal opportunities.

The School has introduced this grievance policy to facilitate the resolution of Grievances in a structured manner. The aim of this policy is to resolve Grievances promptly and fairly, before they develop into major difficulties for all concerned.

GRIEVANCE RESOLUTION PROCESS

This section of the policy sets out the "Grievance Resolution Process".

You should inform the Director of Finance and Business Administration as soon as possible if you would prefer to resolve your Grievance via Conciliation (see section 4 below).

All grievances should be raised in a timely manner. In the case of a Grievance that relates to events that took place more than 12 months prior to the raising of the Grievance, the Director of Finance and Business Administration has the discretion to refuse to investigate such Grievance.

An overview of the Grievance Resolution Process is set out in the following:

gr.png

STEP 1 - INFORMAL RESOLUTION

Employees should aim to settle most grievances informally as a first step.

If your Grievance concerns a particular colleague or individual, you should, where possible, approach that colleague or individual in a timely manner to resolve your Grievance. There may be situations where a Grievance cannot be resolved directly with the other person because the matter is sensitive or your relationship with the other person means this is not possible. For example, if you consider that you have been subject to bullying by a colleague, you may not wish to resolve the issue with the colleague. In this case, you may wish to approach your immediate supervisor. If your Grievance concerns your immediate supervisor, then you may approach their supervisor.

Informal Resolution Guidance

  • Both parties should be courteous and professional at all times.
  • State your Grievance clearly and succinctly so the other person understands the issues on hand. Have a list of points for discussion ready so the dialogue stays focussed. Don’t be distracted by other irrelevant issues.
  • Adopt a flexible posture, be a good listener and be open to the other person’s viewpoints.
  • Work towards a common position and be prepared to compromise.
  • Give the process a reasonable amount of time and your co-operation.

Informal resolution has advantages for everyone, where it is possible, because it allows for Grievances to be settled quickly.

STEP 2

If informal resolution, either directly with the colleague or individual, or through your immediate supervisor, does not address your Grievance, you can seek the assistance through the Formal Resolution process or Conciliation.

OPTION: Formal Resolution

To begin the formal resolution process, you should notify, in writing, the Director of Finance and Business Administration, to whom you will submit a request for formal resolution in writing within a mutually agreed time frame. This is required to ensure that the Grievance can be dealt with promptly.

If the request for formal resolution is not made within the timeframe, the Director of Finance and Business Administration has the discretion to not refer the Grievance for formal resolution.

Upon receipt of the initial notification the Director of Finance and Business Administration will inform the other parties within 48 hours.

The request for formal resolution should set out:

  • in succinct terms, your Grievance;
  • the evidence supporting your Grievance;
  • your proposal for resolving the Grievance; and
  • what attempt(s) if any you have made to resolve your Grievance informally and the outcome of such attempt(s).

Unless it would be inappropriate for the Grievance to be dealt with through the formal procedure (see below section entitled “Deviations from Grievance Procedure”), a Grievance Officer, shall be appointed by Director of Finance and Business Administration within 14 working days of receiving the request.

The Director of Finance and Business Administration may consult with the Board of Governors, the Headmaster and School management (where appropriate) for the purposes of determining the appropriate procedure and Grievance Officer. The Director of Finance and Business Administration, if he considers it to be reasonable, may suggest that the Grievance be resolved by way of Conciliation.

The employee lodging the Grievance may choose to invite a colleague to accompany him/her to any meetings that take place during the course of the investigation and a translator will be provided as needed.

The Grievance Officer

The Grievance Officer can be drawn from the School’s administrative staff, teaching staff or Board of Governors and shall be somebody who is independent of the Grievance. Where appropriate, more than one Grievance Officer may be appointed to investigate a Grievance.

The employee lodging the Grievance should make the Director of Finance and Business Administration aware of any confidentiality or sensitivities that might affect the appointment of a Grievance Officer. The Director of Finance and Business Administration and the Grievance Review Committee will, to the extent possible, bear in mind such confidentiality or sensitivities.

The Grievance Officer has the power to:

  • review and consider the request for formal resolution;
  • seek further information from the employee lodging the Grievance or from other persons;
  • ask the persons concerned with or having knowledge about the Grievance to attend interviews;
  • consult the Headmaster or other senior management in deciding on how to resolve the Grievance;
  • unless provided otherwise, interpret the School’s policies and procedures as outlined in the School’s handbook where they are relevant to the Grievance;
  • and make a determination as to the Grievance (“Determination”).

The employee lodging the Grievance must promptly comply with all reasonable requests made by the Grievance Officer. Such requests may include, without limitation, requests to meet and requests for further information (verbal or written) and documentation.

Failure to comply by either party with reasonable requests by the Grievance Officer might delay the investigation and Determination of the Grievance and, if the failures continue or result in material information not being provided, the Grievance Officer may conclude that the investigation cannot continue and conclude the investigation without making a Determination.

The Grievance Officer will endeavour to review, consider, investigate (as appropriate) the Grievance and issue a Determination within 14 working days of the conclusion of the investigation. The Determination of the Grievance will be provided in writing.

The Determination is taken to be the resolution of the Grievance unless the employee lodging the Grievance invokes step 3 of the Grievance Resolution Process (please see below) or seeks a Conciliation.

OPTION: Conciliation

Conciliation is intended to be an alternative method for resolving Grievances and employees can elect to have their Grievance addressed via conciliation should Informal Resolution not be effective.

Conciliation is a discussion between the employee with the Grievance and other concerned parties that is facilitated by an independent third party, the conciliator.

The conciliator will be appointed by mutual agreement between the employee with the Grievance, the other concerned parties and the Director of Finance and Business Administration.

The conciliator will normally be a member of the School’s administrative staff, teaching staff or Board of Governors, who does not have any actual or perceived conflicts of interest with the outcome or resolution of a particular Grievance and must consent to the appointment.

The conciliator’s role is to promote structured, positive discussions with the aim of bringing the parties to a mutually agreed resolution of the Grievance. The conciliator cannot, however, make a binding decision about the Grievance unless the parties all agree to vest this right on the conciliator.

STEP 3 - FINAL RESOLUTION

If the employee lodging the Grievance is not satisfied with the Determination or the Grievance has not been resolved through Conciliation, the Director of Finance and Business Administration will convene the Grievance Review Committee within 14 days of the day upon receipt of a written request for Final Resolution made by the employee.

The Grievance Review Committee, to be chaired by the Director of Finance and Business Administration, will comprise three members to be elected from the School’s support and teaching staff , with two additional members elected as stand-bys, and three members of senior management.

  • The Grievance Review Committee has the power to:
  • review and consider the original request for formal resolution and the Determination;
  • seek further information from the employee lodging the Grievance or from other persons;
  • ask the persons concerned with or who have knowledge about the Grievance to attend interviews (this could include the Grievance Officer or the Conciliator);
  • consult the Headmaster or other senior management in deciding on how to resolve the Grievance;
  • unless provided otherwise, interpret the School’s policies and procedures as outlined in the School’s handbook where they are relevant to the Grievance; and
  • make a final determination as to the Grievance (“Final Determination”).

The employee lodging the Grievance must promptly comply with all reasonable requests made by the Grievance Review Committee. Such requests may include, without limitation, requests to meet and requests for further information (verbal or written) and documentation.

Failure to comply with reasonable requests by the Grievance Review Committee might delay the review and Final Determination of the Grievance and, if the failures continue or result in material information not being provided, the Grievance Review Committee may conclude that the review cannot continue and conclude the review without making a Final Determination.

The Final Determination is final and binding. There shall be no further right of appeal.

DEVIATION FROM THE GRIEVANCE RESOLUTION PROCESS

If your Grievance is with the Director of Finance and Business Administration, or for some reason you consider that the Director of Finance and Business Administration would not be an appropriate person to coordinate the grievance resolution process, you should instead submit your Grievance to the Headmaster who will take over the role of the coordination of your Grievance.

For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this policy affects the School’s rights under the common law and the employment contract in relation to suspension and dismissal (with or without notice).

There may also be situations where the School is required to deal with the Grievance externally. For example, if the Grievance discloses any conduct which may be criminal in nature or involves potential corruption or misfeasance, the School may be under a statutory obligation to report the matter to the police or other external authorities. Nothing in this policy limits the School from complying with its statutory or contractual obligations.

To ensure that the grievance process is conducted fairly and expediently, all of the parties involved must comply with their express and implied obligations of confidentiality. In particular, all parties involved in any must refrain from spreading rumours or discussing the Grievance before it is resolved or making negative statements through public or social media. Employees must not raise their Grievance to other members of the Board of Governors, unless that person is

  • (a) the designated Grievance Officer;
  • or (b) a member of the Grievance Review Committee.

During the grievance process personal data will be collected and processed in accordance with the School's personal data policies.

All employees must follow the above stated grievance policy, so as to ensure that any Grievance be dealt with consistently, properly and efficiently.

QUESTIONS

Questions about this policy and its interpretation should be addressed to the Director of Finance and Business Administration.