Staff Grievance Procedure (2019-2020)
Date agreed: December 2019.
Date of next review: July 2020.
Approved by: Elena Vlasenko (School Director)
The aim of this Grievance Procedure is to enable any member of staff to have their grievance heard and addressed appropriately. The school intends to settle grievances quickly and fairly, in a consistent and effective manner. This procedure applies to all staff members at Pushkin’s School, including the management team and volunteers.
The School Director encourages open communication between all staff members with the purpose of ensuring a harmonious workplace, maintaining constructive working relationships and finding mutually acceptable solutions to workplace problems and issues.
Staff members should always first try to resolve issues in the workplace on an informal basis by open and honest communication.
All grievances will be dealt with in a fair and equitable manner.
For issues that involve grievances against colleagues, the staff involved can mutually agree to take part in a mediation process in order to resolve outstanding issues. This will be initiated, arranged and conducted by the School Director or the School Manager.
At the formal stages of procedure, all written records will be retained.
All matters will be treated in confidence.
What is a Grievance?
A grievance is a complaint by an employee about any aspect of his/her employment such as:
terms and conditions of employment;
health and safety;
bullying and harassment;
new working practices;
The grievance must be one that lies within the power of Pushkin’s School’s management to resolve (i.e. it must not be a grievance about matters determined by legislation or collective agreements). If a staff member wishes to voice their concerns about suspected wrongdoing, the procedure in the school’s Whistleblowing Policy should be used. If the concern relates to child protection issues arising from a colleague’s conduct, the procedure in the school’s Allegations Against Staff Policy should be used.
Stages of the Grievance Procedure
At any stage of the procedure the School Director may wish to refer to an adviser external to the school for guidance to bring about a resolution of the grievance that is acceptable to both sides, outside the formal hearing within the Grievance Procedure. Such conciliation is without prejudice to the position of both parties.
Stage 1: Raising Grievances Informally
The staff member should first raise the grievance with the colleague causing the grievance in the hope that the matter can be resolved quickly without taking it further. If the grievance cannot be resolved directly, or the staff member feels unable to raise it directly, the staff member should personally present the grievance to the School Director (in the High Wycombe, Hemel Hempstead and Bracknell school branches) or the School Manager (in the Chelmsford and Southend-on-Sea school branches). The grievance may also be given in writing. The School Director or the School Manager will give a reply as soon as possible and will try to provide possible solutions to the grievance.
Stage 2: Raising a Formal Grievance
If the member of staff is not satisfied with the reply given by the School Director or the School Manager, the staff member should submit the grievance in writing, indicating that it is a formal grievance, to the School Director. The staff member may use the school’s Formal Grievance Form which can be obtained from the School Director and School Manager. This form is also included at the end of this document. The written grievance should contain a brief description of the nature of the complaint, including any relevant facts, dates and names of individuals involved.
The School Director will normally meet the staff member to hear the grievance and reply as soon as possible, even if it is an interim reply pending further investigation. At this stage, the staff member may be accompanied by a companion at any meeting to discuss the grievance. ‘Companion’ refers to a person chosen by the staff member to accompany them, who is either a trade union representative or a workplace colleague.
The school aims to resolve all grievances quickly and efficiently, where all parties involved come to a mutual agreement. All parties will be kept informed of the progress of any investigations or its outcomes. In rare cases where the staff member feels that their grievances are unresolved after formal meetings and investigations have been conducted, they may proceed to Stage 3.
Stage 3: Taking Unresolved Matters Further
This stage applies to any unresolved grievances after the procedure of the previous stage, or grievances against the School Director. Staff are advised to first speak to the School Director if they wish to voice a grievance against them. In most cases, the staff member and the School Director will be able to come to a mutual agreement. If the staff member wishes to take the matter further, they should contact the Local Council of the school branch most relevant to their grievance.